Department data protection breach: Over 800 farmers affected

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has today, Wednesday, October 16, issued a statement outlining a recent data protection breach.

According to a statement from the department, the Nitrates Section recently wrote to a number of farmers (dated October 8) advising them of a breach of the Nitrates regulations in 2018.

However, the statement explained: “Unfortunately, due to a data mismatch, 827 letters were issued which contained incorrect details and information to the named recipient.”

Continuing, the statement outlined that the department “moved immediately” to address this issue and sent a further letter identifying the error and apologising in full to all farmers involved.

The department’s Nitrates Section has explained that a corrected letter will be issued to these farmers in due course.

Concluding, the statement noted that the matter has been reported to the Data Protection Commissioner “as per appropriate procedures”.

€747 million BPS advance payment

The news comes following today’s announcement on the commencement of advance payments under the 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) including Greening.

The minister said: “I am happy to confirm that that advance payments under the BPS, worth €747 million to 114,500 farmers, have commenced issuing today.

These payments are a vital support for farmers across the country and contribute greatly to maximising income and cash-flow in the sector.

The minister continued: “A key priority for my department is to issue payments to the greatest number of farmers possible at the earliest date allowed under EU legislation, subject to the necessary requirements of the schemes being met.