Dáil Éireann - Volume 561 - 13 February, 2003

Written Answers. - Agriculture Appeals Office.

  104. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will introduce an independent appeals system to adjudicate in disputes between his Department and individual farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4211/03]

  105. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food if he will introduce an independent appeals system to deal with areas of dispute between his Department and individual farmers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4212/03]

  Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): I propose to take Questions Nos. 104 and 105 together.

  I established the Agriculture Appeals Office on 13 May 2002 following the enactment of the Agriculture Appeals Act 2001 and the making of the Agriculture Appeals Regulations 2002.

  The director of the office acts as chief appeals officer and there are currently ten appeals officers along with support staff. The office is located in Portlaoise, County Laois. The mission of the office is to provide an independent, accessible, fair and timely appeals service for persons who make application under the Department of Agriculture and Food direct payment schemes, and to deliver that service in a courteous and efficient manner.

[872]   Question No. 106 answered with Question No. 65.