Teagasc is inviting expressions of interest for REPS related services. Given the projected workload for the advisory service in 2012 to support over 40,000 fee paying clients; it has decided to sub-contract part of its REPS related workload.
The number of front line advisers working in Teagasc has reduced by 36% since 2009. The number of administration staff in the advisory service has also reduced significantly. There is now a deficit in all advisory regions between the planned workload and available advisers. Consequently it is now planned to relieve work pressures by sub-contracting some of the work around REPS records and REPS plan amendments where required.
A tender process seeking Expressions of Interest was placed on the e-tenders website today, Wednesday, 7 March. Teagasc plan to establish a panel of qualified professionals for the provision of REPS related services. Following the establishment of the panel, mini-tenders will take place for different packages of REPS related work in different regions of the country. A review will be carried out to ascertain the effectiveness of this new arrangement.
Dr Tom Kelly, Director of Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc said:” Teagasc will continue to service all of its clients but is subcontracting some of its REPS support work. This will greatly relieve the enormous pressure on the service and ensure that advisers can focus on the delivery of high quality development programmes through its Business and Technology Service.”
Teagasc estimate the minimum adviser requirement to support Food Harvest 2020 is 300 advisers. The main workload challenges facing the organisation in 2012 include:
- 5,000 participants in the Dairy Efficiency Programme (DEP)
- 4,000 participants in the Beef Technology Adoption Programme (BTAP)
- 50,000 applicants for the Single Payment Scheme (SPS)
- An additional 4,000 e-Profit Monitors to be completed for clients
- Nitrate derogations plans
- Increased demand for Education courses
- An expanded Better Farm Beef programme to 30 farms
- Supporting New Entrants
- 10,000 clients for REPS support.
Farmers can be assured that outside contractors delivering the REPS support work will be monitored and paid directly by Teagasc and that the work will be done to the required standards.