Thursday, 7 May 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
133. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food the cost to his Department to date of redigitising maps as a result of errors which have become apparent under the REP scheme and other schemes; the company involved in carrying out this work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18292/09]
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Deputy Brendan Smith): For the purposes of the control of area-based schemes operated by my Department, details of the area on which payments are based must be maintained on a digital system. The Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) in Ireland reflects the digitised details of land parcels as submitted to my Department under a number of area-based schemes. As well as the Single Payment Scheme, the LPIS supports Schemes under the Rural Development measures such as the Rural Development Protection Scheme (REPS) and the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS). These area-based Schemes account for some €2 billion payments to farmers annually. It is imperative, therefore, that the land details held by my Department are correct and up-to-date so that scheme payments are also correct and verifiable.
In this context, the LPIS must be up-dated on an ongoing basis to take account of landscape changes, sales of house sites, land parcels being claimed for the first time etc. The LPIS is updated by way of maps received from farmers, findings of on-the-spot inspections of farm holdings, up-to-date ortho-photography and current satellite imagery.
The contract for digitising onto the LPIS system is awarded by my Department following the completion of a public tendering process. Mallons Technology Limited holds the contract in the current year. No additional costs have been incurred by the Department in the work undertaken to up-date the system.
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