Among the aims of the Farmers Charter of Rights is to ensure you can access all the information you need via a courteous and efficient service.
The timeframe for the Charter documents was to run in tandem with the duration of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2015 - 2020. As the new CAP is still being finalised it was agreed with the Farming Bodies to extend the commitments under these Charter documents until the new CAP is in place in 2022.
Farmers' Charter of Rights
The Farmers' Charter of Rights 2015-2020 was agreed following discussions with the farming organisations. The Charter sets out specific delivery targets to our farmer customers and covers the following schemes:
Basic Payment Scheme;
Areas of Natural Constraint;
Beef Genomics and Data Programme;
Organic Farming Scheme;
Forestry Grant and Premium Schemes;
Animal Health Schemes.
The Farmers' Charter continues our commitment to the principles of Quality Customer Service set out in our Customer Charter and Action Plan. Progress under the Charter will be monitored by a review committee under an independent chairman. The committee will be comprised of representatives of farm organisations and Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine staff.
If you are unhappy with the service that you receive you may lodge a complaint to the Department's Quality Service Unit.
The complaints process is as follows:
complaints should initially be made to the Senior Officer in charge of the area to which the complaint relates
if you are not satisfied with the response received, you can refer the matter to the Quality Service Unit who will have it fully and impartially investigated
if you are still dissatisfied, you can contact the Office of the Ombudsman
The Office of the Ombudsman examines complaints from people who feel they have been unfairly treated by public bodies such as government departments.
This complaints process relates to customer service issues only. Appeals on decisions related to the Department's schemes are dealt with by the relevant Division in the first instance and if the issue is not solved to your satisfaction an appeal may be lodged with the Agriculture Appeals Office
Complaints should be made in writing by letter or by email.
Customer Service Complaints Procedure
Customer Service Complaints Procedure for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine Policy for dealing with Unreasonable Behaviour
The Department’s Customer Service Charter reflects the mutual expectations of the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine and its customers and seeks to ensure that our organisation conforms to the highest principles of professional public service. The Charter outlines how our customers must be treated during their dealings with Department officials. Equally, it expects that customers will also treat staff with respect and give full co-operation to enable the Department to deal effectively with their affairs and to fulfil its responsibilities in relation to compliance with the law. This applies irrespective of whether the individual is acting on their own behalf or on behalf of others.
The Department of Agriculture Food and Marine values the feedback on our services that we receive through our complaints process and is committed to dealing with all complaints fairly and impartially. However, a small number of individuals pursue their complaints/beliefs in a manner where the frequency or nature of their contact with us takes up unjustifiable time and resources, making it difficult for us to deal with their complaint and distracts us, in a disproportionate way, from carrying out our work for all customers.
What is considered unreasonable behaviour?
The Department considers that there are six main types of unreasonable behaviour. These may be conveyed either in person, such as at meetings, by phone or through written correspondence:
1. Unreasonable conduct
Examples of unreasonable, and possibly abusive, conduct (whether oral or written) towards staff include threats; physical violence; verbal abuse; bullying or harassment; making untrue allegations; derogatory remarks; inflammatory statements; rudeness, damage to DAFM property or DAFM officials’ property; or attempting to provoke officials into engaging in unnecessary and time-wasting argument or confrontation.
This may include an individual being vexatious, seeking to provoke or create discord, begin arguments or cause upset via online posts or comments. Email or other means of communication can also be considered to be aggressive or intimidating communications. However, there is a difference between a post that is critical of the Department and one that is targeted at named staff.
3. Unreasonable level of co-operation and/or a failure to co-operate
This may be demonstrated by an individual: failing to clearly define the complaint; presenting large volumes of documentation in a disorganised way; changing the substance of the complaint while the investigation process is ongoing or clarification is being sought; or, withholding information, untruthfulness or being deliberately vague. It may also include non-cooperation with the investigation into the complaint which may hinder, obstruct or delay the investigative process.
4. Unreasonable arguments
Examples of this could include an individual placing a lot of emphasis on relatively trivial or irrelevant issues; advancing theories that are unsupported by any evidence; or, an insistence that their version of events be acknowledged as fact despite a lack of evidence to substantiate that conclusion.
5. Unreasonable demands
An individual may, for example, demand an unrealistic solution or one that is disproportionate to their complaint. They may express strong opinions as to how they think DAFM should implement a scheme or insist that the Department involve itself in a matter outside its remit.
6. Unreasonable persistence
This generally involves an individual persisting with a complaint that has already been investigated and the matter resolved/closed by the Department. The persistence may present itself in several ways, for example, by demanding that the same (or slightly changed) complaint or issue be looked at repeatedly.
Procedures to manage unreasonable behaviour
Department officials have a right to make a decision to end telephone calls if the caller is being aggressive, abusive, offensive, intimidatory, excessively argumentative or confrontational. The staff member taking the call will inform the caller that his or her behaviour is unacceptable and that the call will be terminated if the behaviour continues.
In other cases, if the Department considers an individual’s conduct unreasonable, we will explain to them why we believe this to be the case and ask them to change their behaviour.
Unreasonable conduct may include an isolated incident or may be the accumulation of incidents or behaviour over a period of time. If the unacceptable conduct continues or constitutes a serious risk (such as threatening a member of staff with violence), we will take action to restrict the individual’s contact with our offices and to protect our staff. We would see resorting to some of the measures described below as being an unusual occurrence and only appropriate after great consideration and consultation with local management.
A comprehensive written record will be maintained in each case where a complainant’s conduct is considered to be unacceptable or unreasonable. This will include dates and times of contacts, a clear factual description of events. Any decision to restrict access will only be taken after we have evaluated both the service given by the Department to the particular complainant and the record of the unacceptable or unreasonable complainant conduct. This decision will be taken at Assistant Secretary level and any restrictions imposed will be appropriate and proportionate.
The actions we are most likely to consider are set out below but can be varied depending on the nature of the unreasonable behaviour:
• Contacting the individual to explain how their contact is not acceptable
• Asking the individual to agree how they will behave in future interactions
• Limiting contact to a particular contact channel (e.g. by letter only)
• Limiting contact to a single named DAFM official
• Limiting the frequency of telephone calls (e.g. to specified days and times)
• Restricting email communication
• Future correspondence relating to the same complaint where the matter has already been dealt with will be read and acknowledged indicating to the complainant that there will be no further communication on the matter.
If the informal approach is not successful, in all cases, we will email/write to the individual advising them why we believe their behaviour is unreasonable and the action that the Department proposes to take (including duration). The individual can seek a review of the decision to deem them unreasonable and any proposed action to be taken. A request for such a Review will be undertaken by an Assistant Secretary The appeal can affirm, amend or annul the original decision. The appeal decision will be final with no further internal appeal mechanism. The individual is free to follow any external mechanism, such as appealing to the Office of the Ombudsman, that they feel appropriate.
All such correspondence and records are subject to Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation. Also, such records may subsequently be required by the Office of the Ombudsman or similar.
Review of restriction
Within a maximum period of 3 months following the issue of the decision letter, the Head of Division must carry out a review of the case. If there has been a noticeable and sustained improvement in the individual’s behaviour and evidence of an ability to conduct his or her affairs in a proper manner, the restrictions will be re-assessed.
A Head of Division can undertake a review and lift the restriction earlier than 3 months if they have reason to believe that the original behaviour will not recur.
The implementation of this policy does not prejudice an individual’s right to raise relevant issues under the Department’s Complaint and Review procedures, with the Office of the Ombudsman, the Workplace Relations Commission or under the Disability Act, where appropriate.
This policy will be reviewed after a period of two years.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine aims to ensure that the needs of all of its customers, including people with disabilities, are met and that their rights to equal treatment are upheld in service delivery.
The Disability Act 2005 provides a statutory basis for making public services accessible. Sections 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the Act place obligations on public bodies to make their public buildings, services and information accessible to people with disabilities.
Access Officers under the Disability Act 2005
The Department has appointed Access Officers in accordance with section 26(2) of the Disability Act 2005.Access Officers are responsible for providing or arranging for, and co-ordinating assistance and guidance, to persons with disabilities accessing services provided by the offices and generally to act as a point of contact for people with disabilities wishing to access such services. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact details are as follows:
Disability Access Officer
Co-Ordination Section, Corporate Affairs, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
, D02 WK12
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has appointed an Inquiry Officer to investigate complaints made under section 38 of the Disability Act, 2005. Any individual can make a complaint to the Inquiry Officer if the Department has not complied with sections 25, 26, 27 or 28 of the Disability Act 2005.
Contact details are as follows:
Freedom of Information Unit, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pavilion A, Grattan Business Centre, Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.
, R37 K857
All personal data collected and processed by the Access and Inquiry Officers will take place in accordance with the regulation on Data Protection.
All rights reserved including but not limited to content, site, titles, layout and site specific user interface.
As content on the website is copyrighted, any unauthorized use of any materials on the website may violate copyright, trademark and other laws.
Should a user download the materials on the website for personal or non-commercial use, the user must retain all copyright, trademark or other similar notices contained in the original materials on or any copies of the material.
Materials on this website may not be modified, reproduced or publicly displayed, performed or distributed or used for any public or commercial purposes.
Re-use of Public Sector Information
The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine complies with the regulations on the Re-Use of Public Sector Information and we encourage the re-use of the information that we produce. The regulations are available on www.psi.gov.ie
Under the Regulations for Re-Use of Public Sector Information businesses and individuals can request any existing information held by public sector bodies, including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, to re-use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
To make such a request please apply in writing, specifying the information requested and that it is being requested for the purpose of re-using public sector information to the contact below:
Freedom of Information Unit
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pavilion A, Grattan Business Centre, Dublin Road, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
, R32 K857
Your request will normally be dealt with within twenty working days. If your request is unusually complex or involves a large number of records this may be extended to as long as forty working days. If this is the case you will be informed within three weeks of receipt of your original request.
No fees are currently imposed for the Re-Use of Public Sector Information.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of your request you may request a review from the Office of the Information Commissioner. This appeal must be requested within four weeks of the notification of the decision on your request.
Re-use is subject to the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0
license. This means that all information re-used must clearly acknowledge the source and that any modifications to the information must be clearly identified.
The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine is not liable for any loss or liability associated with the re-use of information and does not certify that the information is up-to-date or error free. The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine does not authorise any user to have exclusive rights to re-use of its information.
All of the information featured on our website is the copyright of the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine unless otherwise indicated. You may re-use the information on this website free of charge in any format.
The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine currently makes information routinely available to the public in relation to its functions, activities and schemes, in its Publication Scheme
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine maintains its websites to enhance public access to information about the Department and its activities and to provide services to its customers. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided on the Department's websites is accurate and up-to-date. If you notice any errors or omissions please let the Department know as soon as possible. The Department gives no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up-to-date nature of information provided on its websites and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions.
The Department reserves the right to change all or any of the information provided at any time, but shall not be responsible for or liable in respect of any such change in information. The Department has no liability for any loss occasioned from the use of information appearing on these websites. Any links from these websites to external websites are provided as a matter of convenience only, and should not be taken as an endorsement of the contents or practices of those external websites.
Unless otherwise stated reproduction is authorised except for commercial purposes, provided the source is acknowledged.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Twitter presence is managed by the Department’s Press Office through the Department’s twitter account @agriculture_ie.
If you follow us, you can expect tweets covering some or all of the following:
Press Releases on the Departments activities and Ministerial speeches
Information on activities and events of the Department
Alerts about new content on our website
Other practical information on services available through the Department
Who we follow:
If you follow us, we will not automatically follow you back. We will follow the Houses of the Oireachtas, other Irish Government Departments, and any agencies of the Department with a presence on twitter as well as some accounts run by European Institutions. Accounts of relevance to the Department and its customers may be followed at the discretion of the Press Office. Following such accounts does not imply an endorsement of any kind.
We welcome and will read all @ messages. However in general we will not be in a position to reply to all messages. The best means of communicating a query to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is by emailing email@example.com
Please do not include personal/private information in your tweets to us.
Tweets or replies deemed unsuitable may result in the twitter user being blocked from @agriculture_ie
The Department takes no responsibility for tweets other than those issued by designated personnel.
Twitter may occasionally be unavailable and we accept no responsibility for lack of service due to Twitter downtime.
Department applications have been fully tested using Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. We cannot guarantee that the features of applications will work correctly with other versions.
We would strongly recommend that users of the Internet Explorer browser upgrade to version IE8.
Other browsers mentioned on this page (for information only) may not support all the features of the Department's applications.Clicking on any of the browser supplier link(s) will take you to an external website.
To ensure that the highest level of security is applied to the information passing between the Department and our Customers, D/AFF uses 128 bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption exclusively.
What is 128 bit SSL Encryption?
128 bit SSL encryption "scrambles" information while it is sent from one computer to another. This prevents the information being viewed by a third party.
How do I check my browser?
If you think you may be using an older version of your browser or wish to see some of the different options available to you then please review the information relating to updating your browser on this page.
Update your browser
If you download a new browser it will appear in your programs folder. (e.g. Press Start, then Programs, then Internet Explorer). Users are free to download a number of different browsers from external websites. We cannot handle support requests for these browsers. If you experience difficulties using the Department applications with any of these other browsers, we would draw your attention to the Recommended Browser IE8 (Internet Explorer 8).
Microsoft Internet Explorer
If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer version 2 or 3, you should upgrade your browser to version IE8 , as 128-bit encryption is not possible with these older versions. On the Microsoft website
there is information about the latest Internet Explorer version and how to upgrade your browser.
All versions of FireFox allow 128-bit encryption by default, and do not require an additional download. On the Mozilla website you can check you are using the current version.
Mozilla 1.6+ allows 128-bit encryption, by default, and does not require an additional download. While still in development Mozilla has mostly been replaced with FireFox. On the Mozilla website
you can check for the latest versions of both Mozilla and FireFox.
All versions of Opera allow 128-bit encryption by default, and do not require an additional download. On the Opera website
you can check to see you are using the latest version.
Safari (Apple Mac only)
Apple Mac Safari allows 128-bit encryption enabled by default. On the Apple website
there is more information about this browser and you can check that you are using the latest version.
The security of electronic information is very important to the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine.
To help protect yourself and your information, this section offers some practical security advice on using computers and the Internet. It is important to take these sensible steps to minimise the risk to your computer and your personal information.
DO install suitable anti-virus and anti-spyware software
DO install a firewall on your computer
DO install regular updates on your anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware software
DO keep your internet browser up to date and install regular updates
DO use passwords to protect your computer and change your passwords regularly
DON'T reveal your password to anyone else; it allows that person to act on your behalf
DON'T install software on your computer unless it comes from a reliable source
DON'T install unlicensed software
DON'T respond to e-mails asking for personal or banking details
DON'T open an e-mail attachment unless you know what it contains and unless it comes from someone you know
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