Department working ‘flat out’ to pay outstanding GLAS monies
Department of Agriculture officials, administrative and IT, are working flat out to resolve the issue of paying outstanding GLAS monies, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has said.
In response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail’s Charlie McConalogue in the Dail this week, he said that when his Department hit the “pay” button in respect of GLAS, some applications did not get through the system.
In terms of what needs to happen now, he said that all of the outstanding applications will have to be scrutinised.
“The problems presenting relate to compatibility between GLAS actions and plots submitted under basic payment scheme applications and so on. Very often a bespoke IT solution is required to address these issues.
“It is, unfortunately, a slow process but the issues are being worked through as quickly as possible. Neither I nor my Department has a vested interest in delaying payments to farmers. We are working flat out to resolve this issue.”
The Minister said that he wished he were in a position to give a definitive timeline for when it can be resolved and assured Deputy McConalogue that it is not an issue of resources within the Department, nor is it an issue of pointing fingers.
The issues that arose when the payments did not proceed are such that we have to eyeball every application that did not go through.
“We have to identify the reason each payment did not go through and then find IT solutions to enable payments to go through.
‘Payment targets have not been fully met’
The Minister said that it is acknowledged that payment targets have not been fully met, with under 3,000 GLAS 1 and under 6,000 GLAS 2 payments remaining to be fully processed.
This is due, in the main he said, to unanticipated outcomes of the checks required to be carried out on each individual application.
Outstanding payments under both GLAS 1 and GLAS 2 are delayed due to a variety of issues, the Minister said, including;
- Declaration of incompatible parcel usage on the Basic Payment Scheme application for a chosen GLAS action.
- Changes in parcel boundaries on which a GLAS action is chosen, including splitting or merging of parcels.
- An applicant no longer claiming a parcel on their 2016 BPS.
- Incomplete documentation such as incorrect information on low-emission slurry declaration.
- Incomplete interim commonage management plans.
- Incompatible data and parcel history on Department databases.