The Ombudsman suggested that the Agency should write to the occupiers of the Building inspection properties concerned to ask if they would be willing for the information sought to be released. The complainant sought information relating to a particular drug. Among the exemptions quoted by the Medicines Control Agency to justify refusing to provide the information was exemption 13. They told him that they had no objection to the disclosure of information about the drug, and much of the information was then released.
Nearly all of them were cases which the Office were trying, usually successfully, to resolve without a formal investigation. AAPS is a scheme funded by the European Commission which offers payments to farmers in respect of land used to grow certain crops. To qualify for payments farmers are required to set-aside a proportion of their land. He included a sketch map of one of the fields in respect of which the application was made, which showed that the field was divided into two parts; 6.08 he was in marley and the remaining 4.47 he was in set-aside.
On 3 September MAFFs Northern Regional Service Centre (the Centre) wrote to Mr X. They said that in his 1996 AAPS application he had shown the field as 4.86 ha in barley, 2.07 ha fallow and 3.94 ha in set-aside; comparing the sketch maps included in the two applications. they said that it appears that the area he had declared as set-aside in 1997 included the area declared as fallow in 1996. At the end of the year there were only two cases over three months old which has not been decided.
Land that had been fallow in 1996 was not eligible for set-aside in 1997 accordingly that ares had been deducted from the set-aside claimed for 1997, resulting in a total eligible set-aside area for that claim of 2.40 a. As the discrepancy between the claimed and the eligible area exceeded 20% Mr X would receive no set-aside payment, and his claim in respect of cereals and oilseed would be reduced proportionate to the reduction in the set-aside area.