Applicants who feel that DAERA decision makers did not reach the correct decision in respect of their Area-based scheme application have access to the new review procedure.
This procedure is an opportunity for applicants to explain and demonstrate how they feel they have met the requirements of the relevant scheme and why the Department’s initial decision should be changed.
The initial Case Officer Review is conducted by a specialist multi-disciplinary team of officials within the Area-based Schemes Payment Branch who were not involved in making the decision in question.
Should the applicant remain unsatisfied at the conclusion of this stage they may within 60 days of receipt of the initial determination, apply for an Independent Panel Assessment to review their case. The cost of applying for an Independent Panel Assessment is £200. Where an initial determination is amended or revoked, the fee shall be refunded to the applicant.
The procedures established under new Regulations include consideration of any relevant documents or other evidence produced by the applicant or the Department (whether or not that document or other evidence was available at the time of the making of the application). The Panel may invite the applicant (or a representative of the applicant) or the Department to attend a hearing to provide further information relevant to the review.
The Department must accept and implement the decision of the Panel, except where the Panel decision is made on the basis of an error of law.
Applications to the following area based schemes will be subject to the new procedures:
- Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
- Young Farmers’ Payment (YFP)
- Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS)
- Agri Environment Schemes (NICMS)
- Forestry Grant Schemes
- Protein Crops Scheme (PCS)
Any farmer who has received a decision letter or submitted a review of decision application after 1 December 2021 will have their application considered under the new process.