Written Answers. - Rural Environment Protection Scheme.

Eric J. Byrne

Question:

29 Mr. E. Byrne asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if he has satisfied himself that the operation of the REPS is fully monitored; the plans, if any, he has to improve the monitoring of the scheme; if it is permissible for the excess to be retained by the applicant in cases where the cost of works carried out is less than the amount of grant-aid received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1855/96]

Michael P. Kitt

Question:

83 Mr. M. Kitt asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if it is the policy of his Department to inspect 5 per cent of all rural environment protection scheme plans lodged with his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1800/96]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 29 and 83 together.

I am satisfied with the monitoring of the REPS by my Department. There is a detailed pre-payment check of 5 per cent of applications selected on a random basis with provision for further discretionary checks. There is provision for similar post payment checks. The monitoring of the scheme is reviewed on an ongoing basis and changes are adopted where required.
Payment under the basic scheme is related to the area farmed up to a maximum of 40 hectares. An additional payment may be made where one of the supplementary measures is undertaken. Payment is not directly related to the cost of work carried out on the farm.