Swann’s concern at continued failure to inspect RHI boilers

North Antrim MLA Robin Swann
North Antrim MLA Robin Swann

The MLA who chaired the Assembly’s investigation into the RHI scandal has said that he cannot understand why Stormont has not yet started an audit of every RHI installation.

UUP leader Robin Swann chaired the Public Accounts Committee inquiry which ended prematurely when Sinn Féin collapsed the Assembly in January. A full public inquiry is due to begin public hearings next month.

Mr Swann claimed that “one of the major flaws” of the scheme had been the failure to audit every boiler and said that “a 100% audit is needed to rule out those who are participating in the scheme innocently and legitimately but also to highlight those who are abusing it”.

“It was one of the obtuse ways in which the scheme was set up - there was no other scheme within any department in Northern Ireland where you put the equipment in and then applied [for the subsidy]; with everything else you applied, got it through the assessment and then you put the stuff in.

“We’re actually still trying to do it in reverse. People have put in the equipment and now we’re talking about auditing whether they’re using it legitimately.”