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

ANNEX 2

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.

Timing

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 (

Phoenix).

 

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  • Mick Fealty

    All other concerns to one side, the role of the Department is key here.

    In particular regarding decisions made in the four months after the last Board was effectively sacked and Murphy (through the Department’s shareholder unit) was the only effective backstop when the comms budget was cut by 65%.

    And we ought to have a view taken on the convening of that IRT which had the effect of neutering the Board to the benefit of the Department. Will we? I’d say it is one acid test of whether this is circling the wagons or prepping for a new start.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Is it possible to “Review the Regulator’s Report recommendations ” while you “work alongside the Regulator” in the same timescale? sounds a bit strange to me, although I welcome the fact it will not be dragged out un-necessarily, the TOR are quite vague it will depend on the two appointed. Would the SinDup coalition dare appoint individuals will to rock the boat?

  • Keep expectations low. If the Exec is appointing the two, and a number on that Exec has full confidence in Conor Murphy then the two who are doing whatever it is they are doing are hardly going to be so critical. More layers of fudge.

  • joeCanuck

    ..considering the role and responsibilities of the Minister and the Department…

    What the feck does that mean?
    Is it an instruction to cover the Minister’s arse or does it mean that the R&Rs of a Minister are currently not known?

  • Pigeon Toes

    “…considering the role and responsibilities of the Minister and the Department…”

    Two individuals appointed to look at the role of DRD and the Minister. All depressingly familiar, and predictable…

    http://sluggerotoole.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Paul-Priestleys-changes.pdf

  • danidiot

    Is Widgery one of the appointees?

  • joeCanuck

    And now Murphy says he has been assured that “the cheque is in the mail”. Note the weasel words; “He has been assured..” rather than “I have assured myself…”.

  • Pigeon Toes

    http://niexecutive.blogspot.com/2011/01/appointees-named-for-water.html?spref=tw
    “Appointees named for water investigation
    The First Minister and deputy First Minister have appointed two people in relation to the investigation into the handling by NI Water of the recent major interruption of water supplies.

    Philip Holder and Heather Moorhead will consider the broader governance issues, including the role and responsibilities of the Minister for Regional Development and his Department, in relation to the matter. They will also consider the recommendations of the Utility Regulator who is examining the role of NI Water in the incident.”

  • Pete Baker

    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.

  • Pete Baker
  • al

    So Peter picked Phil and Marty went for Heather?

    They both seem to have good experience and bring with them different skills to the investigation but I’m a cynic and therefore there has to be more to it than that.

  • Pete Baker

    From the previously linked NI Regulator’s 2005 report

    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 (Phoenix).

  • Actually, if you want someone who really knows about the water industry, get someone from the best water authority in the world: Singapore.