Updated: “The second part of the investigation will be produced by two individuals appointed by the First Minister and deputy First Minister…”

We now have the details of that “yet another expensive review” of NI Water, as annonunced by the Northern Ireland Executive.

Despite concerns about the Utilities Regulator’s role expressed by, amongst others, the NI Consumer Council, that part of the review – proposed by the NI Regional Development Minister – stays in place.

But they’ve added a second layer.  And in time honoured fashion they don’t appear to have been able to agree to appoint a single person to review the Regulator’s review, as well as reviewing the role of the Minister.

From the Terms of Reference in the NI Executive’s statement


Terms of Reference

The OFMDFM Appointees’ Review into the Handling of the 2010/11 Winter Freeze/Thaw

The Review

On behalf of the Executive, OFMDFM will appoint two individuals to:

  • Review the Regulator’s Report recommendations and issues considered within it.
  • Assess the effectiveness of the governance arrangements and responsibilities of those involved in relation to the capacity to deal with the incident, also considering the role and responsibilities of the Minister and the Department in this respect.

The Report will be submitted to the NI Executive for its consideration.


The OFMDFM appointees will work alongside the Regulator and within the same timescale

And that timescale, according to the NI Executive statement…

The composite report, including the work of both the Regulator and the two appointees, will be submitted to the Executive by the end of February. After consideration the report will be published.

Update  The NI OFMDFM have named their two appointees – Philip Holder and Heather Moorhead.

From the OFMDFM statement notes

1. Philip Holder has spent much of his career in the utilities and related services sectors. He spent 25 years at East Surrey Holdings (ESH), latterly as MD with responsibility for its water and gas divisions.

He currently holds the following Non-Executive posts;

  • ·Non-Executive Chairman of Fulcrum Utility Services – Fulcrum is an AIM listed company which deals with connections to gas networks throughout GB. It also owns some gas networks.
  • ·Non-Executive Director and committee member of Compania Logistica de Hidrocarburos in Madrid, Spain. CLH stores and distributes, via pipeline, all Spain’s refined fuels (ie diesel, heating oil, petrol, aviation fuel) and biofuels.
  • ·Non-Executive Chairman of Forefront Utilities – Forefront provides main laying and all associated services to National Grid and all other gas infrastructure companies.

2. Heather Moorhead is a graduate of the University of Ulster. She served as CEO of NILGA (Northern Ireland Local Government Association) from 2002-2010. Her professional background is in corporate governance and management within the public sector.

Adds  Spot any familar company names in this 2005 document [pdf file] on the NI Regulator’s site

The principal assets of ESH [East Surrey Holdings Plc] are East Surrey Water plc, a water company in southern England, and Phoenix Natural Gas Limited (



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