Welcome to the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affair's (DAERA) Publication Scheme.
Section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act places a legal duty on every public authority to adopt and maintain a publication scheme setting out the classes of information it holds, the manner in which it intends to publish the information, and whether or not a charge will be levied for the information.
The Publication Scheme is a living document, which is modified and developed in accordance with public interest, topical issues and the day to day work of the Department.
Our publication scheme is based on the Model Publication Scheme (external link opens in a new window / tab), that has been drawn up by the Information Commissioner for all public sector organisations. You can access information through our website by following the links via classes of information set out below, or by using our publication search facility which contains all the documents released by DAERA.
You can also use the search box at the top of the website.
We are committed to greater openness and to the proactive dissemination of information. This goal of increased transparency will enable us to comply with the requirements set out in The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and The Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
The classes of information will not generally include:
- information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure;
- information in draft form;
- information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons;
If you have searched the Publication Scheme and have not found the information you are looking for you can ask for information through the following information access legislation.
- Freedom of Information Act- requests for information must be in writing - this includes email.
- Environmental Information Regulations – requests for information can be in writing, or verbally by phone or in person.
In certain circumstances you may be required to pay a fee before the information can be provided. For more information please view our fees schedule.
When requesting information you may find the ICO’s guidance on how to access information from a public body useful. Please be sure to include the following details:
- your name and address;
- a clear description of the information you would like to access; and
- the format you would like the information to be sent to you (for example as hard copy, via email, etc.)
You can submit an information access request via e-mail by using the following e-mail address: email@example.com.
A leaflet is also available explaining how we process requests for information.
Who we are and what we do
DAERA’s vision places sustainability at the heart of a living, working, active landscape, valued by everyone. The Department assists the competitive development of the agri-food, fishing and forestry sectors of the Northern Ireland economy, having regard for the need of the consumers, the welfare of animals and the conservation and enhancement of the environment.
Roles and responsibilities
We provide a business development service for farmers and growers, and a veterinary service with administration of animal health and welfare.
We are responsible to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in Great Britain for the administration of schemes affecting the whole of the United Kingdom.
We also oversee the application of European Union agricultural and rural development policy to Northern Ireland.
The Department comprises of five main groups, has two agencies and 6 public bodies, which it sponsors.
Central Services and Contingency Planning Group (CSCPG)
CSCPG is led by the Deputy Secretary, Brian Doherty and as a group contributes to the Department’s aim by ensuring high quality support and development services are available to all of the Departments business areas. There are 6 main areas within the group;
- Digital Services
- Corporate Services
- Staff Engagement and Leadership
- Contingency Planning
- NIFAIS Programme
Food and Farming Group (FFG)
FFG is led by Deputy Secretary Norman Fulton and is responsible for policy development and review, Ministerial Briefing on policy issues and to ensure the Department meets its requirements with regard to EU/UK statistics. There are 6 main business areas within FFG:
- Policy, Economics and Statistics
- Sustainable Agri-food Development
- Science, Evidence & Innovation Policy
- Area Based Schemes
- Covid Planning
Environment, Marine and Fisheries Group (EMFG)
EMFG is led by Deputy Secretary Tracey Teague and comprises 6 divisions including the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
- Environmental Policy Division
- Regulatory and Natural Resources Policy Division
- Marine and Fisheries
- EU Transition
- Green Growth & Climate Action
- Northern Ireland Environment Agency which has 3 sub groups:
- Natural Environment
- Resource Efficiency
- Strategic Planning and Change
Veterinary Service & Animal Health Group (VSAHG)
VSAHG is an integral part of the DAERA and is led by the Deputy Secretary and Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Robert Huey who reports directly to the Permanent Secretary. In broad terms the work of VSAHG is:-
- providing advice on the formulation of Government policy in respect of animal health and welfare and veterinary public health
- implementing the Department's and the Food Standard Agency's policies in these areas
Rural Affairs, Forest Service and Estate Transformation Group (RAFSET)
The RAFSET Group is led by the Deputy Secretary Fiona McCandless and has 4 main groups:
- Rural Affairs
- Forest Service
- Estate Transformation
- Operational Readiness
We work with these bodies
- College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- Farm Safety(HSENI) (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- NIEA Net Regs (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- Loughs Agency (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- Northern Ireland Environment Link (external link opens in a new window / tab)
Our main areas of responsibility are outlined in the topics section of our website:
Information on the Minister, Permanent Secretary and senior officials
What we spend and how we spend it
Information on DAERA's Finance and Strategic Plans can be found by following the link below.
- Finance and Strategy
- Programme for Government 2011 - 2015 - Strategic Delivery Plans
- Gifts and Hospitality Register
NICS pay and grading structure
The NICS pay and grading structure can be viewed on the website of the Department of Finance (external link opens in a new window / tab)
DAERA subscribes to the NICS-wide procurement directorate which can be viewed on the Department of Finance website www.finance-ni.gov.uk/central-procurement-directorate (external link opens in a new window / tab).
Available and awarded contracts can also be viewed by following the link above.
Our priorities and how we are doing
How we make decisions
Information on the decision making processes and records of decisions:
Information access and records management policy
- DAERA's Data Protection Policy Statement
- DAERA's Records Management Policy Statement
- DAERA Access to Information
- DAERA Fees schedule - Charges which may be made for information released under information access legislation.
Minutes of senior-level meetings
Our policies and procedures
- Customer services - how you can contact DAERA
- Equality - you can view our Equality Scheme here and also find out more about the various aspects of the equality, good relations and human rights work we are taking forward.
- Delivering our services
Recruiting and employing staff in the NICS
- NICS recruitment (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- NICS HR policies (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- Civil Service Pay (external link opens in a new window / tab)
- Equal opportunities (external link opens in a new window / tab)
The Services we offer
Lists, registers and FOI/EIR disclosure logs
FOI/EIR Disclosure logs
In this section you will be able to find details of Freedom of Information (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) disclosures, made by the Department, where the material is of wider public interest. It also shows the statistical information on how the Department has delivered its responsibilities under the Act and Regulations.
Our Disclosure Logs outline a range of requests made and the information provided in response. It does not identify the requestor. Every effort is made to post disclosures on the website as soon as possible after they are released.