In response to the recent report from the independent public inquiry into the Non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme, Alan Bermingham, CIPFA’s Policy Manager – Governments, said:
“The RHI report underlines the need to fully understand value-for-money (VfM) assessments in order to take account of the implications for the wider UK public purse, rather than a narrow focus on where individual costs will be incurred. Ministers need to implement stronger measures for adequate scrutiny of public policy and its associated consequences on good standards of public financial management, while ensuring that qualified financial staff are involved in the assessment and operation of complex public projects. Together, these integrated efforts should work to prevent such disastrous consequences from recurring in the future.
“It’s also critical that special advisors have their roles more clearly defined, and that accountability measures for such failures are in place and seen to be followed-up with necessary action. Thorough evaluation of robust business cases, paired with post-implementation monitoring standards must be a top priority for the new Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive for all major projects.”