Common Grazing Committees granted Business Reference Numbers: EIR review

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

FOI reference: FOI/18/01467
Date received: 27 June 2018
Date responded: 25 July 2018

Information requested

1. Total number of Common Grazing Committees which have been granted Business Reference Numbers (BRN).

2. The total number of Common Grazing Committees which have had IACS applications validated as approved in the years 2016, 2017 and as at today's date for 2018.

3. The total combined value of payments made under the various schemes to all common grazing committees granted business Reference Numbers in 2016 and 2017.


I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed with modifications. You state in your request for review that you do not consider it appropriate to consider the matter under any legislation beyond the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA).

Where information is requested which is "environmental information", we are obliged to consider that request under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004. The term "environmental information" is a very wide one, and the management and payment of grants towards the development of grazings in Scotland would appear to fit within it, making the EI(S)R regime the appropriate one. However, as explained in the original letter, the use of the EI(S)R regime makes no difference to the response to your request.

With respect to your first question, the number of Common Grazing Committees which have been granted Business Reference Numbers, we have re-examined our data in some detail. We now believe that in total 554 BRNs have been issued to CG Committees. Please note that there may be a few more than this - our data is in some cases ambiguous. These BRNs have been issued over a number of years and it is not known, without significant further investigation into each, exactly why, although the most common reason is that the CG Committee has applied or intended to apply for Pillar 2 (SRDP) funding. Because we do not retire BRNs, the fact that one was issued in the past does not mean that the business would meet regulatory criteria as a business now.

With regard to your second question, the total number of CG Committees which have had SAF applications accepted as valid to 19 July 2018 for each of the scheme years 2016-18 are as follows:

Year No. of CG Committees

2016 124

2017 123

2018 105

With regard to your third question, we are finding it difficult to be definitive about the totals paid in CAP grants and subsisidies across all Schemes and across all of these businesses. The closest we can come, to the same date, is:

Year All Schemes (approximately)

2016 440,000

2017 300,000

If you require more detail on the payments or a more precise total, please let me know and we will endeavour to supply it.

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