Thousands taken off CAP payment website

DEFRA has updated its website detailing payments made under the CAP, although it has been forced to remove thousands of names because of EU law.

The department announced last week that it had updated its website to include all CAP payments made to “legal” persons between 16 October 2008 and 15 October 2010.

Legal persons include registered companies, other corporations, partnerships with separate legal personality – such as Limited Liability Partnerships – trusts and trustees.

But following a judgment in the European Court of Justice in November 2010, information relating to claims submitted by sole traders and family partnerships have been removed.

This means that the payments of only 17,148 of the 210,347 CAP beneficiaries have been published.

A DEFRA spokesperson said: “We’re committed to full transparency in the use of public funds but, because of the recent change in EU law, we can now only publish information on CAP payments covering ‘legal’ persons.”

The department has said it will press the commission to bring forward new legislation that will maximise transparency over funding.

The European Court of Justice ruling was issued after a challenge by a group of German farmers who said that publishing the data was a breach of their privacy.