15/12/08 - All Traders - No. 76/08
We are writing to let you know that information about Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments will soon be released under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued a Decision Notice that requires the Rural Payments Agency to release unpublished information concerning payments to a campaigner for transparency about CAP. This decision was reached in response to a complaint made under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations.
We have to release the following information for all those who have received any CAP payment between October 1999 and October 2005:
- Full name of recipient;
- Business identification number;
- Address of recipient;
- Postcode of recipient;
- Amount of payment;
- Date of payment;
- Name of CAP scheme under which the payment was made;
- CAP scheme code.
We will release this information to the complainant by 17 December but will not publish it.
In 2005 and 2006, we published details of CAP payments made for the financial years 2002-03 to 2004-05. The information released included names, regions and the total subsidy payments made. Details of the latter two years were published on our website at www.rpa.gov.uk
We did not publish the following information as we decided, on balance, that it was not in the public interest to do so:
- Detailed elements which made up payments;
- The full addresses of recipients;
- Information dating back more than two years.
In March 2006 a complaint was made to the ICO about this level of disclosure. During the ICO's investigation, we were in frequent contact and maintained that we had correctly applied the test of public interest.
However, the Information Commissioner regards disclosing details of a subsidy from public funds paid to a person operating in a business capacity to be justified.
The ICO has therefore issued the Decision Notice that requires us to provide a copy of the data files containing information on CAP payments for the years 1999/2000 to 2004/2005.
You may know that following a change to the European regulations on funding the CAP in 2008, we are required to publish further information on subsidies. You can find more details at www.cap-payments.defra.gov.uk
. You can also find the first information published under this regulation, about Environmental payments, on this website.
You can read the ICO's full decision on the Information Commissioner's website at www.ico.gov.uk
. For details of the campaign for EU transparency that led to this complaint, go to www.farmsubsidy.org
This letter is for information purposes only and no action is required.
If you have any queries regarding this notice please contact the External Trade Helpline on 0191 226 5050 or email email@example.com
Page published: 12 December 2012