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16.—(1) Where any person with a view to obtaining the payment of aid to himself or any other person, makes any statement or furnishes any information which is false or misleading in a material respect, the appropriate Minister may withhold the whole or any part of any aid payable to that person or to such other person, and may recover the whole or any part of any aid already paid to that person or to such other person.
(2) Where a beneficiary—
(a)fails to comply with any of the set-aside obligations; or
(b)fails without reasonable excuse to comply with the requirements as to notification in regulations 7(2), 10(2) or 11(2); or
(c)fails without reasonable excuse to permit entry and inspection by an authorised officer or to render all reasonable assistance to such authorised officer as required by regulation 15,
the appropriate Minister may withhold the whole or any part of any aid payable to that beneficiary, and may recover the whole or any part of any aid already paid to him.
(3) Where it appears to the appropriate Minister that a beneficiary who has planted woodland on set-aside land in accordance with the provisions of the Woodland Grant Scheme, has failed to comply with the requirements of that Scheme, that Minister may withhold the whole or any part of any aid payable to that beneficiary under these Regulations and may recover from that beneficiary the whole or any part of any aid already paid to him under these Regulations.
(4) Where the appropriate Minister recovers from a beneficiary the whole of any aid already paid to him, that Minister may in addition require from that beneficiary payment of interest on that aid at a rate to be determined annually by that Minister and calculated on the basis of the period of time elapsed between the payment of the aid and recovery from the beneficiary.
(5) Before withholding or recovering any aid under paragraph (2)(a), the appropriate Minister shall—
(a)give to the beneficiary a written explanation of the reasons for the proposed withholding or recovery; and
(b)afford the beneficiary an opportunity of appearing before and being heard by a person appointed for that purpose by the appropriate Minister; and
(c)consider the report by the person so appointed and supply a copy of the report to the beneficiary.
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