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Minister Coughlan announces Publication of 2005 Annual Report of the Agriculture Appeals Office

The Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mary Coughlan T.D., today announced the publication of the 2005 Annual Report of the Agriculture Appeals Office.

The Agriculture Appeals Office is an independent agency that provides an appeals service to farmers who are unhappy with decisions of the Department of Agriculture and Food regarding their entitlements under certain designated schemes.

The report sets out the major developments during the year and includes a statistical breakdown of the cases handled during 2005. During the year the Department received over 300,000 scheme applications. Seven hundred and ninety appeals were received in the Appeals Office, of which 36% were either successful or partially successful.

The report also gives, in summary form, the results of some selected appeal cases, it contains some recommendations to the Department and refers to recurring mistakes which lead to the imposition of penalties.

The Agriculture Appeals Office continues its important role in the implementation of the Single Payment Scheme through the Single Payments Appeals Committee. The Appeals Committee was established in February 2004 to deal with appeals made by farmers who were not satisfied with the decisions of the Department in relation to the implementation of the various facets of the Single Payment Scheme. The Appeals Committee has an Independent Chairman, Mr John Duggan and comprises of Appeals Officers from the office.

The Annual Report will be available on the Appeals Office website www.agriappeals.gov.ie, in both English and as Gaeilge.

22 August, 2006

Date Released: 22 August 2006