The Agriculture Appeals Office is an independent statutory agency established in 2002 to provide an appeals service to farmers who are dissatisfied with decisions of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine concerning designated schemes operated by the Department. An appeal to the Office does not impinge on any other existing right of appeal. The operating costs of the Office are funded by the Department.The Agriculture Appeals Office was asked by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to review the eligibility decision in relation to the lands known as Keelderry commonage. As part of this review, three officials from the Office visited the commonage on 23 January 2014. None of the officials listed (names provided) were involved in Single Payment Scheme Inspections prior to joining the Agriculture Appeals Office.
All shareholders in the commonage were notified in advance by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of the review request and by the Agriculture Appeals Office of the site visit.