RHI: “the energy team did not include that crucial detail in the submission to her.“

And, what’s happening in the public inquiry into the RHI scheme? It seems like Northern Ireland lost its representative democracy for a departmental cock up not by Arlene Foster, but by an official(s):

The cost of the ongoing subsidy scheme – which became the RHI scheme – was estimated to cost over £100m more than it had done in the report the previous month, meaning it cost significantly more than the other option.

Mrs Foster decided to go for the subsidy option on the basis of the draft report, rather than the final one.

The former DETI minister has said she would have “expected officials to draw any significant or material changes affecting my prior decision… directly to my attention”, adding: “This was not done.”

Ms Hepper accepted that what the minister has said “is factually correct” and the energy team did not include that crucial detail in the submission to her.

As the BBC report has it: “Not very good public policy, is it?” Sir Patrick replied.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty