Single Farm payments – rates of eligibility inspection
Sinn Féin Farming Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA, has confirmed that there will be no increase in 2007 Single Farm Payment eligibility inspections.
Ms Gildernew said
"My department has taken legal advice on this issue and is satisfied that it has strong grounds for maintaining the current inspection level of 5%.
"I am pleased to be able to announce that there will be no increase in SFP eligibility inspections for 2007."
Ms Gildernew again encouraged farmers to notify DARD of any changes to their field maps.
"If a change in field area declared in an IACS application is advised to the department before we find it through our checks or an inspection, no penalty will apply.
"We need farmers to help us help them. Area variances are a major contribution to processing times for the applications concerned." ENDS
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The rates and levels of inspections are detailed in Commission Guidelines. These require the department to assess the number of irregularities found at on-farm inspection and increase the rates of inspection if the levels set are breached.
- The department has to undertake this assessment on an annual basis.
- The basis of the department's conclusion is that not all area variances are over-declaration irregularities (as defined within the terms of Regulation).