To ask Her Majesty's Government what interval is allowed by Rural Payments Agency inspectors between a cross-compliance event and the required resultant action; whether the interval is the same for all events; whether the interval allows for illness, holiday or bereavement affecting the farmer or a key employee; and whether the interval allows for the breakdown and repair of computerised equipment, telephone and power cables. [HL2294]
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA), as the competent control authority for a number of cross-compliance requirements and standards, has set a number of such deadlines for remedial action, which differ depending on the circumstances of the requirement or standard. If a farmer is unable to meet these deadlines owing to circumstances beyond their control, the RPA does consider amending the deadline. Such an extension would not absolve the farmer of their obligations and responsibilities in respect of any other area of cross-compliance or any other legislative requirements. In all cases, however, European Union regulations require that the deadline cannot be extended beyond the end of the year following the one in which the finding was made.