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McEntee announces Department's New Forestry Online Services

Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, today announced the expansion of the forestry online services.

This new development will give forestry scheme clients the facility to apply online for their annual forest premiums, while also allowing them to view some of their payment history and maps of their forest plantations.  Announcing the availability of the new facility, the Minister of State advised "This will be available to clients to claim the 2013 and subsequent annual premiums. By applying online, forest owners will be able to speed up the premium payment process. This will allow payment to be made within weeks of the submission of the application instead of waiting for the bulk run in April. I am sure forest owners will appreciate this development as it will facilitate quicker cashflow to the owner".

There are currently just over 5,500 forest owners registered for the Department's online services and these clients will be able to submit future applications online, which immediately will lead to more prompt payments and reduced paperwork for the clients. Welcoming the development of the facility by Department staff, Minister of State McEntee added, "The provision of online access to IFORIS for approved clients via the Internet is one of the eGovernment initiatives being undertaken by the Department as part of its current IT Strategy, and underpins its commitment to the delivery of improved online services."

Forest owners who are not registered and who would like to avail of this online service can register online at www.agfood.ie

Note for Editors:

The IFORIS computer system was developed by the Forest Service of the Department for the processing of forestry pre-approval, grant and premium applications.  IFORIS also includes digital mapping of grant-aided forestry already planted. The system was subsequently expanded to IFORIS Internet (iNet) to provide facilities to forestry companies to submit and manage their clients' forestry scheme applications online. The system for the payment of the annual forestry premiums has heretofore been totally paper-based. The relevant application forms to be completed by forest owners to draw down their premiums issue in January of each year.  This involves the issue of some 19,000 forms in respect of premiums equating to approximately €70 million. The main payment run then follows in April, resulting in about €55 million being paid out on the basis of about 16,000 valid applications with subsequent smaller payment runs thereafter as and when applications are received and queries resolved.

Date Released: 12 November 2012