RHI report findings show why reform was essential, says Muir

The findings of the RHI report show why reform of the devolved institutions was essential, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has said.

The Alliance Finance spokesperson was speaking after the launch of the RHI report by Sir Patrick Coghlin. While it found no evidence of corruption, the findings said the scheme should not have been adopted by the Executive. The report added some officials exhibited unacceptable behaviour and then Minister Arlene Foster did not read the regulations for the scheme, for which she had been given inaccurate and misleading information.

“My thanks go to Sir Patrick Coghlin and his team for their work in the inquiry and compiling this comprehensive report. Credit also goes to the number of journalists for playing an important role and who brought many of the issues relating to RHI to light,” said Mr Muir.

“While we in Alliance will take our time studying the report in detail, at first glance it appears there are clear lessons to be learned and issues of real public concern, showing why reform of the institutions is essential.

“This report must act as a watershed moment for those who have been criticised directly, as well as the wider culture and system of governance, which enabled their actions and inactions.

“Alliance has always been a champion of openness and transparency, alongside ethics and effective scrutiny of Government. This report gives us a strong basis for doing precisely that within the current Executive. We accept the report’s recommendations. Rules and procedures are important for a Government to effectively work and ensure faith from the public. They cannot be viewed as optional or discretionary.”