We must turn RHI recommendations into real action and reform - Murphy

Date published: 13 March 2020

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has today commented on the RHI Inquiry report which was commissioned by his predecessor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.

Conor Murphy said: “I thank Sir Patrick Coghlin, Chair of the Inquiry, Dame Una O’Brien, Dr. Keith MacLean and the wider Inquiry team for their dedication and professionalism.

“This report is exceptionally detailed, running to over 600 pages which address a range of themes including accountability, governance, transparency, capability, capacity and culture. It makes 319 findings and 44 recommendations for change.

“My role as Sponsor for the Inquiry is to consider the findings and what actions need to be taken.  As the report acknowledges, implementing the recommendations will require sustained, system wide change over a period of time.

“All Ministers will have a contribution to the response which we will discuss at Monday’s Executive.

“Immediately following the Executive I will bring key next steps to the Assembly to discuss with MLAs.

“These steps will include the dedicated Executive sub-committee which was part of the New Decade, New Approach document; a new Ministerial Code of Conduct; further reform of the Civil Service; and an external independent panel to identify any potential misconduct by civil servants. I will provide more details on Monday.

“The Inquiry team has completed their programme of work. The onus is now on us to turn the recommendations into real action and reform. We need effective governance and to manage public money in the public interest. This must never happen again.”


Notes to editors: 

Notes to editors:

1.    The RHI Inquiry was established by the then Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir in January 2017 to investigate, inquire into and report on all aspects of the RHI scheme including its design governance, implementation and operation.

2.    The Inquiry will publish its final costs when the Inquiry has concluded its business.  Its direct costs to date are approximately £7m. Departments have incurred approximately £5.5m in legal costs.

3.    As outlined in the New Decade New Approach (NDNA) document the Executive will establish a dedicated sub-committee which will consider the findings of RHI inquiry and propose further reforms, in addition to those in NDNA, to deliver the changes needed to rebuild public confidence. The parties agreed to deliver any such reforms rapidly once the inquiry reported.

4.    All media enquiries to the Department of Finance Press Office on 028 9081 6724. Out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.

5.    Follow us on Twitter @dptfinance

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