Report on prices and quality of service (RPQS)
In this section, you will find answers to questions you may have on the report on prices and quality of service (RPQS) for public water and sanitation services, with in addition information on regulatory documents and a glossary of common terms.
The RPQS is a document drafted each year by every water and sanitation service to inform consumers on the prices and the quality of the service over the previous year.
It is a public document (as soon as it has been validated by the local government), i.e. it is intended for internal transparency (the service reports to the local government and the mayor/president presents the report to the deliberative assembly, e.g. the town council) and for external transparency with respect to consumers who may consult the report at the service headquarters.
The RPQS was created by article 73 in law 95-101 (2 February 1995) on the reinforcement of environmental protection (Barnier law). This article was replaced by article L2224-5 in the General code for local governments (CGCT). Decree 95-635 (6 May 1995), which stipulated report contents and presentation, was replaced by articles D2224-1 to D2224-5 in the CGCT. It was reinforced by decree 2007-675 (2 May 2007) (Annexes V and VI of articles D2224-1 to D2224-3 in the CGCT), which introduced the notion of service performance indicators.
Local governments that enter their data via the observatory site can generate an automatic RPQS. They can also use the site to publish a downloadable edition of their RPQS.
The report must be prepared by all local governments in charge of one or more public services for drinking water, collective and/or non-collective sanitation, whatever their size and whatever the scope of their missions, e.g. a drinking-water production plant or a wastewater-treatment plant must also draft a report.
The RPQS and the RAD (annual delegation report) are two VERY DIFFERENT documents
If the service is delegated, the RPQS must not be confused with the RAD, which was created by law 95-127 (8 February 1995) (Mazeaud law) and is one of the conditions in the contract between the private company and the delegating entity, i.e. the local government. Decree 2005-236 (14 March 2005), which stipulated the requirements concerning the RAD, was replaced by articles R1411-7 and R1411-8 in the CGCT.
A delegating entity may, however, use some of the technical and financial data in the RAD for its RPQS.
The links between the RPQS and the observatory
Local governments that enter their data via the observatory site can generate an automatic RPQS. Those that do not use the observatory site to produce their RPQS may nonetheless publish it on the site.
About performance indicators
In response to a request by the Court of Auditors in December 2003, decree 2007-675 (2 May 2007) made performance indicators a necessary part of the RPQS. They were subsequently transferred to Annexes V and VI in the CGCT.
The system provides water services with a data repository to assist in setting up an improvement programme by monitoring interannual progress and comparing their results with those of other services. It also supplies consumers with data explaining water prices and general information on how the services operate.
The indicators were established with a consistent set of definitions drafted by a work group comprising experts representing the various participants in water-service management, e.g. State services, local governments and public and private utilities. The local governments provide the data for all the indictors in their RPQS. The indicators constitute the database of the observatory on public water and sanitation services.
To facilitate use of the indicators, you will find in this section the means to calculate them. A datasheet presents all the necessary information on how to calculate and interpret each indicator.