RHI: ‘Radical reform’ needed after Minister confirms just one civil servant faced disciplinary action

Confirmation that just one civil servant will be disciplined over the RHI scandal shows the need for radical reform, a former UUP leader has said.

Burning wood pellets
Burning wood pellets

The outcome of disciplinary proceedings following the Renewable Heat Incentive debacle — which amounted to a written warning to one individual — was confirmed in a written statement to the Assembly by Finance Minister yesterday evening.

Former UUP leader Steve Aiken said: “It is totally unacceptable that in essence, no one is accountable, responsible or even contrite in spite of that fact that the RHI investigation noted serious shortcomings.”

He added: “That there needs to be a root and branch cultural change in the Senior Civil Service is beyond self-evident. Radical reform is needed and it is needed now.”

TUV leader Jim Allister said: “Though tempered by the context of every minister and SPAD (Special Advisor) walking away scot free from the RHI debacle, confirmation that the totality of ‘discipline’ within the Civil Service was a single written warning for just one civil servant is a shocking indictment of the patent inadequacy of the civil service disciplinary processes. We all heard the damming evidence of repeated failures by civil servants — and SPADS and ministers — yet the official Northern Ireland Civil Service and Executive response is to tell us that only one civil servant deserved the trivial rebuke of a written warning.”