The Department of Agriculture’s dedicated online GLAS system remains unfit for purpose with just over a month left until the deadline for receipt of applications, according to the President of the Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA), Tom Dawson.

While he noted that the GLAS system is continually being updated by the Department of Agriculture.

He said the rate at which the online facitlity for GLAS planners is being updated and fixes are being put into the system is too slow.

“We were been told yesterday evening that another new fix will come on the GLAS system this weekend coming.

“But that’s another week whereby we cannot go and properly complete GLAS applications.

“We are not happy with the rate of progress on the GLAS on-line system,” he said.

ACA President Tom Dawson

ACA President Tom Dawson

Dawson was keen to emphasise that time constraints in which consultants were operating with the deadline for reciept of GLAS applications May 22.

“If GLAS was a scheme that was closing at the end of August or the end of September we might not be too worried.

“But we have only a little over a month to go before the deadline. It is a system that isn’t fit for purpose,” he said.

“I do recognise that from a Department point of view they have done a lot of work on it, it has improved from where it was, but it’s not just there yet,” he said.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said recently that the Department of Agriculture maintains close contact with advisors and their representatives and will continue to listen, improve and adapt the new GLAS online system.

However, the Minister also said that there will be a learning curve for users as well and as they become more familiar with the system, and with what is allowed under GLAS itself.

To date 9,119 new applications have been created on the new system.