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Rural Development (Financial Assistance) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008

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Department’s powers

13.—(1) Where regulation 11 or 12 applies, the Department may—

(a)withhold or direct the agent or an accountable body to withhold the whole or any part of the financial assistance payable to the beneficiary;

(b)recover on demand or direct the agent or an accountable body to recover on demand the whole or any part of any amount of financial assistance already paid to the beneficiary; and

(c)require or direct the agent or an accountable body to require the beneficiary to pay to the Department or, as the case may be, to the agent or accountable body an additional sum equal to no more than 10% of the financial assistance paid or payable to the beneficiary.

(2) Where the Department takes any step specified in paragraph (1) the Department may also serve in writing or direct the agent to serve in writing on the beneficiary by post at his last known address a notice suspending or terminating the approval.

(3) Where, under paragraph (2), the Department or, as the case may be, the agent treats the approval as terminated, the Department may—

(a)by notice in writing served on the beneficiary by post at his last known address prohibit the beneficiary from making an application for such period (not exceeding two years) from the date of the termination as may be specified in the notice; or

(b)direct the agent to serve a notice in writing on the beneficiary by post at his last known address prohibiting the beneficiary from making an application for such period determined by the Department (not exceeing two years) from the date of the termination as may be specified in the notice.

(4) Before taking any step specified in paragraphs (1) to (3), the Department shall—

(a)give the beneficiary a written explanation of the reasons for the step proposed to be taken;

(b)afford the beneficiary an opportunity to make written representations within such time as the Department considers reasonable; and

(c)consider any such representations.

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