Stormont committee to ask Arlene Foster to give evidence to RHI inquiry

Robin Swann MLA is chair of the public accounts committee
Robin Swann MLA is chair of the public accounts committee

The Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee has broken with convention and agreed to invite Arlene Foster to give evidence on its inquiry into the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme.

In a statement issued after the committee’s meeting today, chairperson Robin Swann MLA said the committee is determined to get to the bottom of how the scheme “went so badly wrong”.

“While it is not the convention to invite ministers to come before the committee and give evidence, the majority of the committee feels that in this case it would be both appropriate and desirable,” said the Ulster Unionist.

“My committee has been investigating this scheme since September and we have been shocked, not just at the apparent failure of the department to control the way the scheme was designed, implemented and monitored, but at the enormous cost to the public purse.

“We are determined to get to the bottom of how this scheme went so badly wrong and we believe that the Minister who was in charge when it was agreed may have valuable evidence to give to the committee.”