Depart­ment’s €22m an­nual ICT spend

Irish Examiner - Farming - - NEWS - Stephen Cado­gan

Ex­pen­di­ture on in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy (ICT) by the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture is av­er­ag­ing about €22 mil­lion per year, mostly for sup­port­ing pay­ments in schemes such as the BPS, ANC, BGDP, TAMS, Sheep Wel­fare, GLAS, Forestry and Knowl­edge Trans­fer.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Michael C r e e d sa id h is d ep a r tm en t makes ex­ten­sive use of ICT to un­der­pin core ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing ar­eas such as an­i­mal health and wel­fare, food safety, fish­eries, and scheme pay­ments. Re­spond­ing to a Dáil ques­tion from Fianna Fáil agri­cul­ture s p o k e s m a n Ch a r l i e M c C o n - a l o g u e , M r C re ed s a id t h e depart­ment in­tro­duced over 20 new CAP schemes since 2015, and the vast bulk of th­ese are pro­cessed end- to- end by the depart­ment’s dig­i­tal sys­tems. “The depart­ment now has in place the nec­es­sary sys­tems to en­sure it can de­liver on its com­mit­ments over com­ing years.” He said Ire­land draws down CAP Pil­lar 2 fund­ing at a rate se­cond only to Fin­land, fa­cil­i­tated by hav­ing the nec­es­sary ICT sys­tems in place.

“In ad­di­tion, we are con­sis­tently de­liv­er­ing EU schemes and pay­ments in a more ef­fi­cient man­ner than our EU pay­ing agency peers.”

A pro­jected ex­pen­di­ture in­crease of about €4m in 2018 in­cludes ini­ti­a­tion of a new Land Par­cel Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Syst e m ( L P I S ) R e b u ild p ro je c t . “This project will be de­liv­ered in two years and plans to im­plem e n t a n e w s t a t e o f th e a r t LPIS,” said Mr Creed.

The Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture pends about €22m per year on in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy.

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