Written answers

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Agri-Environment Options Scheme Payments

Photo of John O'MahonyJohn O'Mahony (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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258. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a payment under the agri-environment options scheme 2; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40063/15]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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My Department is currently examining approximately 400 cases that submitted invoices from one particular company to verify and support claims under the non-productive capital investment action of AEOS. It is known that in some cases the invoices submitted were for amounts different to those actually paid by the participants.

Funding provided under the scheme comes partly from the EU and partly from the National Exchequer. There is a requirement and obligation to ensure that the expenditure claimed by scheme participants reflects the reality of what took place. For that reason my Department wrote to participants requesting alternative proof that the amounts claimed were in fact the amounts paid.

The person named above was written to on 10 June 2015 regarding the non-productive capital investment claim that they had submitted. This letter requested the submission of alternative verifiable proof to support one of the invoices that was included in the claim for expenditure incurred. A reply to this letter was received on 26 June last.

My Department officials carefully examined the application in light of this reply; this examination indicated that the amount claimed had not been satisfactorily verified and that the amounts claimed were greater than the costs in verified cases. A letter informing the applicant of this determination, and of the proposed penalty to be imposed, was issued on 5 November. This letter also offered the applicant an opportunity to have the determination reviewed within the Department and to submit additional information if they wished not later than 20thNovember. As soon as may be after a request for a review is received, or after 20thNovember, if a request for review is not received, a final decision will be made in this case and a further letter will then issue to the person named informing him of the decision.

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