Dáil Éireann - Volume 472 - 04 December, 1996
Written Answers. - Export Refunds.
Ms O'Donnell Ms O'Donnell
52. Ms O'Donnell asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if he will identify the company or companies which provided his  Department with inadequate proof and in respect of which there was unsatisfactory control of EU funds relating to export refunds which resulted in disallowance's of £2.78 million and £1.55 million against the State by the European Commission, as noted in the 1995 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General. [23383/96]
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates) Ivan Yates
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Mr. Yates): The disallowances referred to were imposed as part of the clearance of the 1991 EAGGF account. No irregularities are alleged in either case.
In the case of the £2.78 million disallowance the European Commission considered that proofs of import which have been accepted by the Department were not adequate. In the other case a disallowance was imposed because of delays in processing and releasing securities. Both disallowances were strongly argued at the time with the Commission without success.
Given that no wrongdoing on the part of the companies involved is alleged, I do not feel it would be appropriate or justifiable to name the nine companies involved.
Since 1991 significant additional resources, including staff, systems and computerisation, have been devoted to the beef export refund area of the Department resulting in significant upgrading of administrative and technical structures. This investment and upgrading of controls has shown positive results.
Disallowances on the 1992 account in the beef export refund area amounted to just £76,000 out of an expenditure of £124 million — 0.06 per cent of the total. Furthermore, following a more recent intensive systems audit by the Commission of beef export refund expenditure amounting to £428 million pounds, indications are that no disallowances are to be proposed. The controls will continue to be improved to avoid the type of disallowances imposed in 1991.
Dáil Éireann 472 Written Answers. Export Refunds.