Force majeure cases involving illness or death soften the usually ‘cold-hearted’ department

The Department of Agriculture can seem cold-hearted and removed.

However, when serious illness or death occurs, it would seen that the department does show compassion and may have a heart, after all.

Allowances are made for force majeure (which isa clause in contract law that frees both parties from liability or obligation, due to extraordinary events or circumstance beyond their control).

For example, in the case of a woman who became the registered owner of her late mother’s herd number in Jan 2010.

A problem arose when the woman didn’t apply for the transfer of single-payment entitlements held by her late mother.

Consequently, no payment was issued.

However, due to the force majeure circumstances, an official from the department made contact with the woman, outlining the position.

The application to transfer entitlements, together with testamentary documentation, was forwarded, and the application was processed.

In another case, an application for the 2010 single payment scheme, submitted by the representatives of a person from Co Cork who had died, was received by the department in July.

It was deemed ineligible because it was received after the 25-day limit in June, when a 100% late penalty is applied.

However, following contact by the department, with the representatives of the deceased person, it was decided to accept the application without late penalty.

Another Co Cork application was not submitted by the mid-May deadline for the 2011 single-farm payment scheme.

Instead, a completed application form was received in Feb 2012, accompanied by a letter of explanation and a medical certificate.

Further medical evidence was sought, and was received.

The Department of Agriculture agreed to accept the position on the grounds of force majeure/exceptional circumstances, and to issue the payment.

Another application for the single-payment scheme 2010, signed by the ‘reps of’ of the person named, was received by the department in Jul 2010.

Despite the terms and conditions stating that applications received after Jun 11 will incur a 100% late penalty, an official from the department contacted the applicant who signed the application.

The application proceeded, after additional information on the extenuating circumstances of this case was received.


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