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RHI Scheme had systemic weakness from the start - Kearney

26 September, 2016 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney said a Public Accounts Committee Inquiry into the Non Domestic Renewal Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme must secure maximum transparency and accountability.

The South Antrim MLA said:

“I have asked the Minister of Economy for an update on his Department’s renewal energy policy and the fall-out from the Non-Domestic Renewal Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme.

 “The Comptroller and Auditor General’s report into the RHI Scheme has revealed serious concerns with respect to the question of this scheme.

“It is clear the scheme has had very serious systemic weakness from the start; including failures to make remedial interventions when problems became obvious; irregular expenditure; and, an absence of proper monitoring and control by the Department.

“That is unacceptable.

“However, it is especially alarming that reckless management and resultant overspending which characterised this scheme, will have an impact upon the Block Grant.

“This is likely to be measured in hundreds of millions of pounds, the legacy of which will be extended over a period of up to 20 years.

“The Non Domestic Renewal Heat Incentive Scheme will now be subject to a Public Accounts Committee Inquiry.

“That inquiry must seek to secure maximum transparency and accountability for the devastating failure in this use of public funds and longer term consequences for public expenditure and the regional economy in the North.”

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