Northern Ireland

Action Renewables submits 'serious incident report' to the Charity Commission

Michael Doran appeared before the RHI inquiry this week
Michael Doran appeared before the RHI inquiry this week

A charity caught up in the RHI inquiry has referred itself to the Charity Commission.

The watchdog confirmed last night that a “serious incident report” has been submitted by Action Renewables Ltd.

The green energy firm knew about serious flaws in the RHI scheme but did not tell Stormont officials and earned around £250,000 advising on around a quarter of all RHI applications.

It also told Invest NI clients in consultant reports it was “not wrong” to run RHI boilers longer than necessary for larger returns.

Last year the Charity Commission said Actions Renewables was operating “within the law”.

That probe came after Action Renewables continued to process application despite its chief executive Michael Doran’s knowledge of the absence of cost controls.

At the time he said it would have been “ethically improper” to relay concerns about the scheme because of its applications on behalf of clients.

On Wednesday inquiry chair Sir Patrick Coghlin said to Mr Doran that the “inescapable inference is you were misleading the charity commissioners”.

Mr Doran replied: “it would appear form this document, yes.”

In a statement last night the Charity Commission confirmed “that a serious incident report has been submitted by the charity Action Renewables Ltd”.

“The Commission is in contact with the charity's trustees and is currently considering the charity's report and the evidence provided to the RHI

Inquiry.

“The serious incident report was submitted to the Commission by the trustees of Action Renewables in confidence, therefore the Commission is unable to

share the report or its contents at this time.”

The commission added that “if a serious incident takes place, charity trustees are required to report what happened to the commission and explain how it is being managed”.