Department confirms problem with IT system is delaying TAMS II payments

Problems with a computer system have reportedly been confirmed as the reason behind the delay in TAMS II payments, according to a Fianna Fail TD.

A letter received by the Louth and East Meath TD, Declan Breathnach, highlights that work is underway on the computer system used for administering the TAMS II scheme; this work is being carried out in order to allow for the processing of ‘over claims’.

Issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the letter specifies that the work will be completed in the coming weeks.

It’s outrageous that farmers are waiting so long for grant payments because of a computer system that is not fit for purpose, Breathnach said.

“I have made numerous representations in the Dail on the outrageous situation where farmers are left waiting for a year on their grant money, because of a slight discrepancy in the amounts and because the computer system has not been able to process these claims as a result.

It has been a case of ‘computer says no’ and there was no opportunity for staff to manually amend figures or to manually authorise payments, in cases where the discrepancy on a claim for €50,000 was as little as €30.

“The computer system was not fit for purpose, and I am glad that this has been admitted now and that steps are being taken, at this late stage, to fix the problem,” the Fianna Fail TD said.

The latest figures from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, show that just over 11,800 applications have been received under the TAMS II scheme.

In total, some 8,414 applications have received approval; an approval rate of just over 71%. Despite this level of application approvals, only 1,398 payment claims have been lodged with the department.

Meanwhile, only 866 of these payment claims have been issued to farmers by the department, representing just 10% of the number of approvals accepted overall.