Public appointment: chair reappointed to the Water Industry Commission for Scotland

Public appointments news release.

The Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson MSP, today announced the reappointment of Professor Donald MacRae OBE as Chair of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.


Professor Donald MacRae is the former Chief economist of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland. As a former executive director of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc and a non-executive director of TSB Bank plc, he has extensive corporate governance in financial services matched by wide ranging directorships at Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the University of the Highlands and Islands and Interface. Professor MacRae’s skills are in analysis, economic development, governance and financial management. He was awarded an OBE in 2011 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


The reappointment is for four years and runs from 1 May 2022 until 30 April 2026.

The reappointment is regulated by the Ethical Standards Commissioner.

Remuneration and time commitment

The Chair receives £350.00 per day per day for a time commitment of two days per week.

Other ministerial appointments

Professor MacRae is a member of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. He receives £10,065 per year for a time commitment of two days per month.

Political activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

Professor MacRae has had no political activity within the last five years.

Water Industry Commission for Scotland

The Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) was formed on 1 July 2005 under the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005. The Commission is funded through a levy on Scottish Water and licence fees.

Statutory duties are to:

  • promote the interests of Scottish Water’s customers, having regard to the interests of current and future customers
  • ensure that customer charges reflect the lowest reasonable overall cost for Scottish Water to deliver the Scottish Ministers’ Objectives for the water sector
  • comment on Scottish Water’s reporting of its performance, challenging Scottish Water to become more efficient and sustainable and
  • facilitate the entry of retail water and sewerage providers that wish to supply non-household customers in Scotland

WICS support both the Scottish Government’s vision of ensuring that Scotland is a Hydro Nation and the jointly agreed vision for the Scottish water sector. This is that the sector will be “admired for excellence, secure a sustainable future and inspire a Hydro Nation”. In doing so they meet their obligations under the Water Resource Act 2013.

WICS is made up of 28 people, comprising economists, strategists, analysts, communicators and support staff. The board provides leadership, direction and support to ensure that WICS delivers its functions effectively and efficiently.

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