Agenda item

Agenda item

Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) - Update Report

Report of the Strategic Director of Housing and Customer Services



The Strategic Director presented the report.


A lengthy discussion was had in relation to the RHI claim process, the timeline as detailed within the report and the staffing circumstances within the service area at the time.  Clarification was also given on some of the terms used within the report in relation to the management processes.  The outcome of these discussions was the concern of the amount of time it took officers to report the error to Committee.  The Strategic Director acknowledged the reporting delay as a result of the lengthy HR investigation process which itself was delayed due to the coinciding with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  


A Member questioned the future monitoring/Audit arrangements as proposed within the report and felt that the timescale for action should include a report to a Scrutiny Committee to scrutinise any investigations when underway.  The Strategic Director confirmed that it was not within the scope of Scrutiny to consider such matters and it was important that HR investigations such as these were addressed in line with the constitution by the Head of Paid Service.  At the request of Members, the Head of Legal and Commercial Services confirmed that it was correct that the Committee would not be informed until the conclusion of a HR investigation and she would not recommend any other approach.  However, she did suggest the possibility of keeping the Chairman of the Committee informed of such matters and would look into this approach going forward. 


Some questions were raised on the reliability of the newly implemented system to ensure grant applications were made on time and assurances were sought.  The Strategic Director reassured Members that the implementation of the new system was a big project with a lot of focus, that would be rigorously tested.  It was also confirmed that a very experienced new Asset Manager had been appointed and would be joining the authority in a few weeks.   


Members requested the opportunity to view the following full documents as referred to in the timeline as part of the report:


-     Paper drafted for Cabinet Member and Leadership (18/12/19)

-     Cabinet briefing papers (04/02/20)

-     Internal management report (Nov 2020)


The Head of Legal and Commercial Services explained that the usual process for viewing confidential documents was to attend in person at the Council Offices, this was to ensure the report did not leave the building and that the individual Councillor could sign a register to acknowledge the confidentiality of the document.  Due to the current pandemic and the limitations on attending the offices, it was agreed for the Head of Legal and Commercial Services to look into the options available and agree an approach with the Strategic Director to enable the documents to be viewed as requested. 


It was moved by Councillor S Gillard, seconded by Councillor K Merrie and




1)     The additional details as requested by the committee at its last meeting be noted.


2)     The actions regarding the claim update as contained within the report be noted.


3)     The monitoring/audit arrangements that had been actioned as agreed at the last meeting be noted.


Supporting documents: