RHI Scheme Recipients

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Economy – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Simon Hamilton Simon Hamilton DUP 3:15 pm, 24th January 2017

As you would expect, we have been seeking to publish details of the recipients of the non-domestic RHI scheme, consistent with a range of legal obligations. At all stages, I have sought to abide by the legal advice that I have received. Whilst I have heard many say that the privacy policy allowed for the publication of business details and some limited information, significantly some of the legal advice that I received said that anything — even a business name — that could relate back to who the individuals associated were — obviously, nobody gave permission for their names to be published — could contravene the Data Protection Act. That is why the process, which was done in fairly short order, had to be undertaken to put all of the objections received against a public interest test.

I emphasise again to the Member and the House that I still hope to be in a position to publish details at some date in the future. I will look at suggestions that other Members have made about releasing somewhat limited data. Anything done will always be done on the basis of trying to have maximum transparency and instil public confidence.