Thursday, 2 May 2013

Questions (202)

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Question:

202. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the new computer system for AOS 1 will be in place; when payments under AOS 1 will be processed; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that a person (details supplied) in County Galway who was promised payments in December has not yet received any payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20874/13]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Under the EU Regulations governing the scheme and other area-based payment schemes, a comprehensive administrative check of all applications, including cross-checks with the Land Parcel Identification System, must be completed before any payment can issue.

Successive EU audits have made it absolutely clear that compliance with the Regulations must be strictly adhered to and that all administrative checks must be passed and eligibility conditions met before payment issues. As a result, my Department is obliged to ensure that individual payments will not issue until all aspects of a farmer’s application are in order, all outstanding documentation provided and all queries resolved.

Payments under AEOS are issuing to farmers on an ongoing basis and outstanding payments under AEOS I are largely due to either penalties on applications or unresolved queries associated with applications. Where necessary officials in my Department will have contacted the applicants concerned with the intention of resolving outstanding problems and issuing payment as soon as possible.

The person named was approved for participation in the Agri-Environment Options Scheme with effect from the 1st September 2010 and full payments totalling €272.13 and €2,917.60 issued in respect of 2010 and 2011 respectively.

The application was selected for a Cross Compliance inspection which resulted in a penalty of 1% being imposed on the AEOS application for 2012. Officials in my Department are now finalising the application of the person named on this basis and payment will shortly issue to the person named.