Under the EU Regulations governing the Agri-environment Options Scheme (AEOS) and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue.
Payments under the AEOS 2010 scheme in respect of the 2011 scheme year are issuing on an ongoing basis and all applications that which have cleared the administrative checking process have been paid. A total of 5,443 participants (66% of the applicants of the applicants remaining in the scheme) have now received their full entitlement for the 2011 scheme year. A further 177 applicants have received their 75% payment in respect of 2011 and the balancing payment will issue at the earliest opportunity. The issues arising on unpaid cases relate, in the main, to invalid capital investment claim details submitted by applicants. My Department continues to process the outstanding cases an ongoing basis in correspondence and contact with the scheme participants and payments will continue as outstanding queries are resolved.
Payments under the AEOS 2011 scheme are also subject to the comprehensive administrative checks. This process has now been completed and I expect payments to commence very shortly. Every effort is being made to ensure that participants receive their initial payments under the scheme as quickly as possible. In the event of any queries arising from these checks my Department will be in direct contact with the applicants concerned as soon as possible. Payments to both AEOS 2010 and 2011 scheme participants in respect of 2012 will commence later in the year.