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Departments: Appeals

Volume 457: debated on Thursday 8 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many independent bodies existed to hear appeals on decisions made by his Department and its executive agencies in (a) 1997-98, (b) 2001-02 and (c) 2005-06; and how many there have been in 2006-07 to date. (121693)

Since the creation of DEFRA the numbers of such independent bodies in 2001-02, 2005-06 and in 2006-07 to date were two, three and three respectively.

The Veterinary Products Committee considers appeals on decisions relating to the issue, variation or withdrawal of marketing authorisation for veterinary medicines. The Plant Variety and Seeds Tribunal considers appeals against decisions on plant variety and seeds issues. The Independent Agricultural Appeals Panel considers appeals against decisions by the Rural Payments Agency. This last one was set up from April 2002.

In general four other mechanisms exist for appeals against decisions by the Department and its executive agencies, the Ombudsman through an MP, the courts through judicial review, and the Civil Service Appeals Board and employment tribunals in the case of employment matters.