DAERA Publication Scheme


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 Public Authorities to adopt and maintain a scheme relating to the publication of information by any authority that has gained approval from the Information Commissioner, whose  office was set up to ensure compliance with the requirements of the act.

Every public authority is required 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, 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 legislation.

  • Freedom of Information Act- Applications for information must be in writing - this includes email.
  • Environmental Information Request – Applications 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 please include the following details:

  • your name and address
  • the information you would like to access
  • the way you would like the information to be sent to you (for example as hard copy, via email, etc.)

You can submit an FOI request via e-mail by using the following e-mail address: daera.informationmanager@daera-ni.gov.uk.

A leaflet is also available explaining how we process requests for information.

Who we are and what we do

The Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs(DAERA) aims to promote sustainable economic growth and the development of the countryside. 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 oversees the application of European Union agricultural and rural development policy to Northern Ireland.

The Department comprises of four main groups, has two agencies and 6 public bodies, which it sponsors.

Central Services and Rural Affairs Group

Central Services Group is led by the Deputary Secretary, Colin Lewis and as a group contributes to the Departments aim by ensuring high quality support and development services are available to all of the  Departments business areas. There are 5 main areas within the group;

  • Digital Services
  • Finance, Performance and Estates
  • Corporate Services
  • Relocation and Change
  • Rural Affairs

Food and Farming Group

Central Policy Group is led by Deputary 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. FFG comprises 5 Divisions:

  • CAP Policy, Economics and Statistics
  • Food, Farming Policy
  • Science, Evidence & Innovation Policy
  • EU Area Based Schemes

Environment, Marine and Fisheries Group

Environment, Marine and Fisheries Group is headed by Deputy Secretary and NIEA Chief Executive  David Small. EMFG comprises of  3 divisions and Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Veterinary Service

The Veterinary Service is an integral part of the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development and is headed by the Deputy Secretary and Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) - Robert Huey  who reports directly to the Permanent Secretary. In broad terms the work of the Veterinary Service 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

The Forest Service

The Forest Service exists to maintain, protect and expand forests in a sustainable way so contributing to sustainable development in Northern Ireland. We seek to get the balance right between the economic, environmental and social aspects of our work. We aim for the highest standards of professionalism in our stewardship of the public estate and in meeting the needs of our customers. We strive to be good  neighbours and part of the local communities in which we operate. The Forest Service is led by the Chief Executive Malcolm Beatty.

Sponsor Branches

  • Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
  • The Agricultural Wages board for Northern Ireland
  • The Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland
  • The Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority

We work with these bodies

Our main areas of responsibility

Our main areas of responsibility are outlined in the topics section of our website:

Legislation and regulations relevant to DAERA

Parliament is responsible for approving new laws (legislation). The government introduces most plans for new laws, or changes to existing laws - but they can originate from an MP, Lord or even a member of the public or private group. Before they can become law, both the House of Commons and House of Lords must debate and vote on the proposals.

All legislation relevant to Northern Ireland can be found on the legislation.gov.uk website.

Partners and sponsor branches

The Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI)

The Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute (AFBI) was created on 1st April 2006 as an amalgamation of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Science Service and the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ARINI). AFBI is a DAERA Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB).

The Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (NIFHA)

The Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (NIFHA) is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

The Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC)

The Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, which was established by Statute (The Livestock Marketing Commission Act [Northern Ireland] 1967) to assist the development of the livestock and livestock products industries.

LMC’s sponsor body is the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). LMC collects statutory levies from beef and sheep producers and slaughterers in Northern Ireland and in return provides a range of services to the industry. LMC also advises DAERA on matters relating to the sector.

College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE)

College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise with campuses at Greenmount, Loughry and Enniskillen. CAFRE provides education and training in the food and land based sectors. CAFRE's sponsor body is the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

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.

NICS pay and grading structure

The NICS pay and grading structure can be viewed on the Department of Finance

Procurement procedures

DAERA subscribe to the NICS wide procurement directorate which can be viewed on the Department of Finance website www.finance-ni.gov.uk/central-procurement-directorate.

Contracts available and awarded 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

Major policy proposals and decisions

Minutes of senior-level meetings

Our policies and procedures

Recruiting and employing staff working in the NICS

Lists, registers and FOI/EIR disclosure logs

Public registers


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 and statistical information showing how the Department has delivered its responsibilities under the Act.

Our Disclosure Logs outline the 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.

The services we offer


Back to top