RHI Scandal

RHI inquiry: officials went along with DUP-SF secrecy in Executive

Senior civil servants broke their own rules to acquiesce in the DUP and Sinn Fein’s desire for secrecy during their time in government, the head of the civil service has said.

David Thomson

No conscious decision to put off RHI cost controls, says official

A top civil servant has said he does not believe there was any conscious decision to delay the introduction of cost controls on the RHI scheme in the year before it ran out of control.

The inquiry is scrutinising the RHI scheme's perverse incentive

Senior official: We knew RHI subsidy was above cost of fuel

One of the most senior officials working under Arlene Foster has accepted that her department knew that the cost of biomass fuel was less than the RHI subsidy being paid but that they failed to realise the significance of that information.

DUP leader Arlene Foster

Judge brings forward Foster appearance at RHI inquiry

Arlene Foster is to be called to give evidence to the RHI inquiry much earlier than previously planned, the retired judge chairing the investigation has said.


Attempt to reinstate lucrative ‘cash for ash’ RHI tariffs dismissed by High Court judge

The High Court has comprehensively dismissed an attempt to reinstate the lucrative tariffs on the ‘cash for ash’ scheme in Northern Ireland.
Fiona Hepper giving evidence to the RHI inquiry yesterday at Stormont

RHI inquiry: senior official admits basic gaffes now ‘don’t look too clever’

A senior civil servant who initially claimed that her team had “probed the evidence” before deciding on the creation of the RHI scheme has admitted that missing mathematical tables whose sums don’t add up and a subsidy higher than the cost of fuel now “doesn’t look too clever”.

Peter Hutchinson

Key official in set up of RHI was put forward for bonuses due to work

The civil servant who was the most involved in the setting up of the RHI scheme was working so hard that he was recommended for bonuses, the public inquiry into the RHI scandal has heard.

Donal Lunny, junior counsel to the inquiry, speaking during yesterday's hearing

Major consultancy paid £100k to advise on RHI made basic error

A leading economic consultancy which regularly does work for governments around the world contributed to the ‘cash for ash’ scandal by a basic error which “the man in the street” would have realised was significant, a public inquiry has been told.

RHI inquiry chairman Sir Patrick Coghlin, centre, with panel member Dame Una O'Brien and Dr Keith MacClean, the inquiry's technical assessor

As one Stormont department tried to rein in RHI, another marketed it

The chairman of the public inquiry into the RHI scandal has expressed surprise that officials in one Stormont department were promoting the disastrous scheme months after officials in another Stormont department had started trying to rein it in.


Sam McBride: RHI Inquiry will impact on entire Stormont edifice

Just four days into the RHI public inquiry, it is clear that this process will have profound implications – not just for Arlene Foster and for the DUP, but for the entire nature of government in Northern Ireland and whether devolution returns.

Arlene Foster

Foster’s officials ‘were warned of key RHI flaw’

Five months before the RHI scheme began, experts warned Arlene Foster’s department to delay the launch so that cost controls could be included – but officials said that the DUP minister was determined to press ahead with the scheme, the public inquiry into the scandal has been told.


RHI law drafted before policy even decided

Officials in Arlene Foster’s department took the “strange” decision to commission a legal firm to draft the text of the RHI regulations more than a year before the department had even formally decided that there should be an RHI scheme, the inquiry was told.


Existence of third whistleblower who came to Sinn Féin revealed

An employee of Ofgem, which runs the RHI scheme on behalf of Stormont, came forward as a whistleblower at the start of this year, it has emerged.

The Independent Public Inquiry into the Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme pictured in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.'Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Forensic work to examine devices revealed at first day of RHI inquiry

A massive trawl for evidence about the RHI scandal has involved the forensic examination of electronic devices and has uncovered text messages between senior government figures.

Handout video grab taken from the Renewable Heat Incentive inquiry of Sir Patrick Coghlin addressing the opening of the inquiry into the botched green energy scheme which triggered the collapse of political powersharing in Northern Ireland. Photo credit: RHI Inquiry/PA Wire

RHI Inquiry chairman vows ‘objective’ probe

The chairman of a public inquiry into a botched green energy scheme that triggered the collapse of powersharing in Northern Ireland has vowed to conduct an objective and transparent investigation.

RHI inquiry chairman Sir Patrick Coghlin and members of his team at a preliminary hearing in September. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

After amassing one million pages, RHI inquiry to begin

The public inquiry into the RHI scandal has set out details of when its first witnesses will give evidence in public.

RHI claimants were told that the subsidies were exempt from future change

Claimants should have known our RHI ‘guarantee’ might be broken, says department

Although government told RHI claimants that the subsidies were set in stone for 20 years, boiler owners should have realised that there was the possibility of change, a government lawyer has told Belfast High Court.


RHI overspend far greater than first feared, department tells court

The already vast scale of the overspend on the RHI scheme is much worse than first feared, the Stormont department responsible for the debacle has told the High Court.

Andrew Trimble and Tom Forgrave, executive chairman and director of the Renewable Heat Association NI, outside the High Court in Belfast

Department's lawyer admits 'catastrophic error' in RHI scheme

A lawyer for the Stormont department responsible for the RHI scandal has admitted in court to a "catastrophic error" in how it set up the scheme.

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