Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (568)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

568. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the reason persons who are informed of an overclaim on parcels of land under the BPS and the ANC schemes are not also informed of the specific penalties that will apply in each case if the overclaims are upheld in order that persons can make an informed decision on receipt of such letters as to whether they will appeal or not; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10040/18]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As part of the processing of the 135,000 applications for the Basic Payment Scheme received by my Department each year, a series of rigorous administrative checks is carried out on all applications to identify possible errors. One such error can be an over-claim on an application.

Where such an error is identified, an over-claim notification letter is issued to the applicant by my Department as soon as it is identified. However, due to the on-going processing of applications by my Department, an applicant's definitive position may not have been established at the time of issue of the over-claim notification letter. For example the processing of entitlement trade applications and the processing of dual claims may have a further impact on a given application status.

The over-claim notification letter that issues from my Department explains the over-claim and identifies the relevant parcels on which the over-claim has arisen. The letter gives an outline as to the potential impact an over-claim can have on an applicant, such as a reduction in the area amount and the imposition of penalties. The notification letter also advises applicants to consult the Terms and Conditions of the Basic Payment Scheme and other Area-Based Schemes, which is issued to all applicants and which provides details of the possible deductions and penalties involved. The letter also advises applicants on steps to take should they wish to seek a review of the reduced area.