Have your say on communicating with DARD online

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The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is seeking your views on a proposal to introduce online as DARD’s primary channel for communicating and transacting with customers, including applicants to EU area-based schemes.

A consultation document is proposing phasing in online as the primary channel for communication and transaction over the three years 2015 to 2018. This is to align with the implementation of the new EU Common Agricultural Policy know as the CAP reform.

The department is also highlighting the future upgrading of APHIS which impacts farmers associated with disease control and animal movement (including notifications of movements). The upgrade is being managed by the NI Food and Animal Information System (NIFAIS) Programme and in the future may also seek your views in a separate EQIA Consultation Document.

The public consultation will open on November 11 and run for 14 weeks, closing on February 12, 2016.

A spokesman for the department said: “This is an important consultation and we are keen to hear the views from as many people as possible. The department strives to be as inclusive as possible. While conventional communication with the department remains important, the key proposal is to encourage more people to communicate online. CAFRE offers assistance to customers in getting online and the consultation document is available in many different formats to encourage people to take part. Our message is simple: have your say; help us help you.”

The consultation can be downloaded from the DARD website: http://www.dardni.gov.uk/consultations. It is also available at all DARD Direct offices.