Defra is being forced to repay more than £160m to the European Commission for breaking the rules over administering farm subsidies. EU states have been ordered to hand back £225.4m of farm money misspent between 2004 and 2007. Mapping problems left the department with a £116.5m fine, while it was billed £44.6m for problems the Rural Payments Agency had with setting up the Single Payment Scheme.
Agricultural Commissions, Dacian Diolos, said "We need to veryify that taxpayers money is not being misspent".
A Defra spokeswoman said the department had already known about the fines and accounted for them in its budgets.