HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 cc978-9W
Andrew George

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications for farmers of the time scale for distribution of Integrated Administration and Control System forms to farm businesses this year. [173016]

Alun Michael

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is responsible for the distribution of Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) forms. The RPA is aware that 1,255 applicants, 1.85 per cent. of the total number of IACS applicants, had not received their forms by 19 April. It apologises for the late arrival of these forms.

The RPA acknowledges that this will have reduced the time for some applicants to ensure forms are correctly completed and received by the RPA by the regulatory deadline of 17 May 2004. The deadline is set by EC Regulation and the RPA has no authority to change it.

As soon as the RPA became aware of concern from a small percentage of IACS applicants that they had not received their IACS forms it issued a statement on its website advising them to contact their RPA Processing Site.

The News Release that the RPA issued on 17 March announcing the 2004 IACS arrangements had already advised that any producer who had not received his form by 15 April to contact the RPA. The need to contact the RPA where IACS forms had not been received was further enforced in advertisements placed in editions of Farmers Weekly and The Grower at the end of March.

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