Vacancy -- Member - Independent Appeals for Rural Grants and Payments ( 9 x Welsh Desirable, 6 Welsh Essential)
Panel members receive £200 per day plus £75 if three or more appeals are heard in one day.
Travel expenses and other reasonable expenses that may arise while working for the independent appeals panel can be claimed from the Welsh government within recognised limits.
Panel members may also be eligible to claim reimbursement for childcare costs / caring for the elderly / employing an assistant carer, as they carry out work on behalf of the panel.
Function of body
The role and responsibilities of the Independent Appeals for Rural Grants and Payments
An independent appeals process was established in 2001 following consultation with the farming industry. The process is intended to ensure farmers or businesses that receive Rural Grants and Payments who feel the Welsh Government has not made the right decision in relation to a claim or application can appeal through a fair and independent procedure. Decisions are reviewed to ensure that Welsh Government officials have been objective and have correctly applied the rules in reaching a decision.
The process initially considered only appeals against decisions of the Integrated Administration and Management System (IACS) 2001 (and subsequent years). Since then, the process has been extended to cover the following schemes. Where appropriate, new schemes will be added to this list:
Basic Payment Scheme (BPS)
Glastir Entry / Advanced
Farm Woodland Premium Scheme (FWPS)
Farm Woodland Scheme (FWS)
Improved Land Premium (ILP)
Glastir Woodland Creation (GWC)
Co-operative Forest Planning Scheme (CFPS)
Glastir Woodland Restoration (GWR)
Co-operation & Supply Chain Development Scheme (CSCD)
Glastir Woodland Creation Premium (GWCP)
Food Business Investment Scheme (FBIS).
Glastir Creation Maintenance (GCM)
Glastir Creation Premium (GCP)
Rural Business Investment Scheme (RBIS)
Glastir Small Grants (GSG)
Rural Communities Development Fund (RCDF)
Timber Business Investment Scheme (TBIS)
Sustainable Management Scheme (SMS)
Farm Business Grant
Sustainable Production Grant (SPG)
Small Grants - Efficiency
Farm Business Grant Yard Coverings
Small Grants – Horticulture Startup
Small Grants – Environment
Small Grants – Woodland Creation
Smalll Grants – Yard Coverings
Growing for the Environment
Organic Conversion Scheme
Nutrient Management Investment Scheme
Woodland Creation Planning Scheme
Woodland Creation Grant
Woodland Creation Premium
Woodland Creation Maintenance
Woodland Restoration Scheme
There are two stages to the appeal process:
Stage 1 - review by Welsh Government, Rural Payment Wales Officials.
Stage 2 - review by the Independent Appeal Panel
Panel members are called upon as necessary to form an Independent Advisory Panel of 3 Members (one of whom will have received specific training as chair of the panel) to consider cases and make recommendations to the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd. Hearings are held throughout Wales as required and individual panel members are selected based on the distance to the hearing venue and their knowledge relevant to the appeal. When a hearing is arranged specific panel members will be contacted to seek their availability on the required date and to confirm that they do not know the appellant personally. The panel member would not be allowed to hear the appeal if he/she knows the appellant well.
The appeal case papers, containing all the evidence submitted and a relevant extract of the scheme rules and legislation, will be sent to the three selected panel members and to the appellant approximately 10 days before the date of the hearing so that they can familiarize themselves with the case in question.
The time available for each hearing varies according to the case in question and whether the appellant has chosen to submit his own appeal (oral appeal) or to have the appeal documents considered by the panel only (written appeal). Usually for an oral hearing, the panel will convene (for pre-hearing discussion) half an hour before the appellant presents their case. The appellant will be allowed approximately one hour to present their case and for the panel to ask the appellant and the Welsh Government representative questions. After the appellant and the Welsh Government representative have left the hearing, the Panel will be allowed a further half hour to formulate its recommendation.
Based on this time it is usual to hold three or four appeal hearings (oral and / or written) in a day.
As it is not possible to estimate when and how many stage 2 appeals will be received in a year it is also impossible to estimate how often and where appeal hearings will be held. As an estimate of what to expect from panel members, 10 appeal panels were held in the 12 months ending 31 December 2021.
The process is intended to ensure farmers or businesses that receive Rural Grants and Payments who feel the Welsh Government has not made the right decision in relation to a claim or application can appeal through a fair and independent procedure. Decisions are reviewed to ensure that Welsh Government officials have been objective and have correctly applied the rules in reaching a decision.
Role and responsibilities
Panel members review officials' interpretation and application of the relevant rules and make recommendations to the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd. They consider the facts of the case along with EU Regulations and domestic legislation.
Panel members are required to:
Actively participate in appeal hearings, demonstrating familiarity with key issues - including information on appeal papers and relevant legislation.
Provide an independent opinion on the cases presented.
Make recommendations to the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd.
Meet at various locations throughout Wales as required.
Attend induction before beginning any appeals and further annual training.
The Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd has the power under the Agricultural Subsidies (Appeals) (Wales) Regulations (SI 2001/2537) to confirm, amend or revoke recommendations made by the Independent Appeal Panel.
Welsh language skills
To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills
and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.
(Appellants can ask to be heard in the language of their choice so hearings can be held in Welsh. To facilitate understanding with appellants it is important that a proportion of the new members appointed to the Panel can speak Welsh fluently. The ability to conduct business through the medium of Welsh would therefore be an essential requirement for at least 5-6 appointees. (Simultaneous translation is provided for situations where Welsh speaking panel members are not available).
Excellent communication skills, balanced judgment, and impartiality.
Ability to work as part of a team.
An awareness, understanding and commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Extensive knowledge and experience of agricultural issues and farming systems.
An understanding of at least one of: the food processing & the supply chain, sustainable farming, timber industry, fishery sector and rural development.
Knowledge of Rural Grants and Payments and the processes involved in their administration.
An interpret understanding of EC and domestic rules and regulations.
A clear understanding and commitment to the Nolan Principles
Welsh language skills are essential for at least 5-6 Panel members. You should note your Welsh language skills in your application. *PLEASE STATES IN YOUR APPLICATION IF YOU ARE APPLYING TO WELSH ESSENTIAL OR WELSH DESIRABLE FOR THE PANEL MEMBER ROLE.
How to apply
To apply for this role, click on the ‘Apply’ button below. The first time you apply for a post, you will need to complete a registration form for the Welsh Government’s online application system. You will only need to register once, and you will be able to keep yourself updated on the progress of your application, and any other applications you make, via your registered account.
Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the application form. To apply you will need to submit two supporting documents. The first, a document outlining how your knowledge, skills and experiences meet the criteria for the role as outlined in the information for candidates. This document should be no more than 2 sides of A4. Your application may be rejected if you exceed this limit. The second document is a full, up to date CV. The two documents should be uploaded to the ‘Reasons for applying’ section of the online application form.
In your application, you will also be asked to provide details of any activities which have helped you to develop skills that would be useful in a public appointment role, and list the organisations for which you undertook these activities. We also need to know about any political activity that you’ve undertaken over the last 5 years.
It is recommended that you register for an account and access the application form as soon as possible so that you see how the application form is structured, before starting to prepare your evidence. You don’t have to complete the application form all in one go. You can save your responses, and log in and out as required, until you’re ready to submit – just follow the guidance in the application form.
If you’d like to apply for this opportunity in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.
If you need any further assistance in applying for this role, please contact the Welsh Government’s Public Appointments Team on PublicAppointments@gov.wales.