Memorandum of Understanding between HSE and DWI

Michael Jones made this Freedom of Information request to Health and Safety Executive

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Dear Health and Safety Executive,

This is a Freedom of Information Request.

The Drinking Water Inspectorate has claimed to have put in place a 'Memorandum of Understanding' with the HSE regarding the discharge of its duties regarding water disinfectants.

I would like to see a copy of this 'Memorandum of Understanding' document in its entirety.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Jones

Infoline Admin,


Dear Mr Jones,

Thank you for your enquiry regarding a Memorandum of Understanding between
HSE and DWI.

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    Letter of Understanding between HSE and Defra Drinking Water Inspectorate on respective roles in the authorisation signed 20 February DWI and 27 February 2004 HSE.DOC.doc

    37K Download View as HTML

Dear Mr Jones

Further to your 25 March 2010 request to the HSE Infoline for a copy of
the 'Memorandum of Understanding' document, I attach the electronic
version of the document to which you refer. Please note that this is a
Letter of Understanding between the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE's)
Field Operations Directorate and the Department for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs' (Defra's) Drinking Water Inspectorate, dealing as it does
with practical matters of cooperation between the two organisations,
rather than a more formal and high-level Memorandum of Understanding.

Some of the details included in the document will need to be amended when
it is next reviewed, having changed since it was drawn up in 2004, but HSE
and DWI continue to aim to follow the principles it sets out.

I shall be happy to send you a copy of the signed hard copy version of
this document. Should you wish to receive this, please let me know the
address to which it should be sent.

Kind regards

Garry Wiles
Health and Safety Executive
International Chemicals Unit
Westminster Office
6th Floor Sanctuary Buildings
20 Great Smith Street
Tel: 020 7227 3834
Fax: 020 7227 3802
E-mail: [1][email address]

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Michael Jones left an annotation ()



Health and Safety Executive (1)
Field Operations Directorate
Daniel House
Stanley Precinct
L20 7HE


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2)
Drinking Water Inspectorate
Floor 2, Ashdown House
123 Victoria Street

This letter sets out the understanding that the Field Operations Directorate (FOD) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have reached in relation to their respective roles in the authorisation of biocidal products, types 2 and 5 as set out in the Biocidal Products Regulations 2001 which implement the Biocidal Products Directive. This understanding is not intended to create legal obligations between the parties to this letter but to record their agreement as to how each party will perform their duties and functions and exercise their powers so as to enable the other to do the same.

1 The roles of HSE and DWI

1.1 The Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC (BPD) has been implemented in GB by the Biocidal Products Regulations 2001 (BPR) (SI 880/2001), made under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) and the European Communities Act 1972. In GB the Ministers as defined are the competent authority (CA), but they have delegated the role to the Health and Safety Commission, which has instructed HSE to carry out the day to day operational work including the authorisation of products.

1.2 DWI has duties, functions and powers pursuant to the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989 (as amended), in particular to enforce the provisions of Regulation 25, which deals with the approval and use of substances and products in drinking water. From January 2004 these duties, functions and powers will relate to the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 and the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2001 (Wales), and in particular Regulation 31 of both Regulations. DWI also provides administrative and technical support services to the Committee on Products and Processes for use in Public Water Supply, which advises the Secretary of State (SoS) and the National Assembly for Wales (NAW) on the approval of products under Regulation 25. Drinking water disinfectants progressively will be covered by the BPD (Product-type 5), and so responsibility for their authorisation will transfer from DWI to HSE. Regulation 25 Letter 4/2000 refers.

1.3 This transfer is deemed to be effective from the inception of the BPD on 14 May 2000. However, the existing national arrangements for the approval of existing products will continue for any given product until the active substance(s) in it have been reviewed under the BPD and the decision(s) on Annex I inclusion for it/them have taken effect.

1.4 European Standards for drinking water have been published by the British Standards Institution. British Standards, commonly referred to as BS:EN, are equivalent to the European Standards. Governments of member States may not obstruct the placing on the market of products that conform to an EN and therefore the SoS (and the NAW) may not require those wishing to place products on the market before 14 May 2000 that do not yet fall to be authorised under the BPD (“Pre-14 May 2000 products”) that conform to a BS EN to first obtain approval. The SoS may however impose national conditions of use that water undertakers must observe when using a product that conforms to a BS EN. These conditions of use must be complied with by water undertakers and concern issues such as dosing concentration or dosing point. As such, the conditions of use have no impact on the placing of pre-14 May 2000 products on the market.

1.5 Until 13 May 2000, DWI also had responsibility under a voluntary system for approving chemicals used in swimming pools, including disinfectants. From 14 May 2000 authorisation for such products containing active substances new to the market has fallen under the BPD. Swimming pool disinfectants are covered under Product-type 2 (Private area and public health area disinfectants and other biocidal products) in the BPD.

2 Co-operation and Exchange of Information

2.1 The parties undertake to take all reasonable steps to co-operate effectively to enable and assist each other to carry out their duties and functions, and to establish and maintain effective working arrangements for that purpose. As part of these working arrangements each party will appoint a liaison officer to act as a focal point for communications between the parties.

3 Undertakings of HSE

HSE’s Field Operations Directorate undertakes:

3.1 In performing its functions under BPR, and:

on receiving an application package for authorisation of a Product-type 5 biocidal product, to provide DWI with a copy of Document I (Overall Summary) and Document II (Risk Assessment) from the package; or

on receiving for assessment as Rapporteur Member State an application package for the inclusion in Annex I of an active substance for use in Product-type 5 biocidal products, to provide a copy of the dossier on the active substance;

to provide an opportunity for DWI to offer advice and comments on the documents.

3.2 To consult DWI on any relevant supplementary information received subsequently (e.g. as a result of enquiries made of the applicant, or from other Member States), and before such products are authorised.

3.3 To invite DEFRA, of which DWI is a part, to take part as a member of the Interdepartmental Committee on Biocides, which will provide to HSE as the CA advice on the new biocides regime; and to provide an advisor for the Biocides Consultative Committee (BCC), an independent body constituted to advise the UK CA on scientific and other associated issues in relation to the BPD, the BPR and other general issues related to biocides.

3.4 To inform DWI about the inclusion in Annex I of active substances for use in Product-type 5 biocidal products, and the authorisation of Product-type 5 biocidal products; and provide DWI with any other information in its possession, relevant to the performance of DWI’s functions, of which it believes DWI is or may be unaware.

4 Undertakings of DWI

DEFRA’s Drinking Water Inspectorate undertakes:

4.1 To offer to HSE, where appropriate, timely advice and comments on Documents I and II of application packages for Product-type 5 biocidal products and on the assessment of active substances dossiers.

4.2 When invited, to take part as a member of the Interdepartmental Committee on Biocides or provide an advisor to the BCC, in particular to send a representative or written comments to provide advice at meetings in which drinking water disinfectants are on the agenda.

4.3 To provide HSE with timely advice to assist in decisions relating to the authorisation of Product-type 5 biocidal products; and with any other information in its possession, relevant to the performance of HSE’s functions under BPD, of which it believes HSE is or may be unaware.

5 Review

5.1 FOD and DWI agree that it shall be open to either party to this letter to suggest a review of any of its provisions at any time. This letter shall remain in effect, subject to any alterations agreed as a result of such reviews, until both FOD and DWI agree to terminate it.

Prof J S Colbourne S Caldwell
Chief Inspector Director of Field Operations

SIGNED for and on behalf of the SIGNED for and on behalf of the
Drinking Water Inspectorate of the Field Operations Directorate of the Department for Environment Health and Safety Executive
Food and Rural Affairs

Date: Date:

Dear Health and Safety Executive,

In my Freedom of Information Request I asked to see the "Memorandum of Understanding" that I was assured (By Prof.Jeni Colbourne of the DWI) existed,yet you've provided a "Letter of Understanding" instead.

Your explanation for providing this document,rather than the document which was requested is unclear.

Is there a "Memorandum of Understanding" document or not?

If this document exists then I would like to see it.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Jones

Health and Safety Executive

Dear Mr Jones

There is no Memorandum of Understanding between the Health and Safety
Executive and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI). That is why I
assumed your request related to the document sent to you on 7 April. I
understand from DWI that your correspondence with DWI refers to a
Memorandum of Understanding, but have been advised that this was a
misnomer, and that the correspondence should more correctly have
referred to the Letter of Understanding.

Kind regards

Garry Wiles

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