Damning government report on the failures of the Basic Payment Scheme
Hill farmers and commoners, in particuar, have been badly treated by the RPA. We urge the RPA to heed the finding and recomendations of report from the Public Accounts Commitee released today and not to repeat these mistakes in 2016. The report highlights inexcusable failures for the delay in payments. The summary states that:
"The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has a history of failure when developing systems to support subsidy payments for farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy. The Common Agricultural Policy Delivery Programme was intended to address past failures, but was unsuccessful in many respects. Payments to farmers have been delayed at a time when their cash flow is already stretched. The three key bodies involved in the Common Agricultural Policy Delivery Programme–the Department, the Rural Payments Agency and the Government Digital Service – were unable to work together effectively. Dysfunctional and inappropriate behaviours amongst senior leaders were inexcusable and deeply damaging to the Programme. An inability to agree a clear vision for the Programme meant that the frequent changes in leadership were accompanied by changes of direction, shifts in focus and further disruption. The Government Digital Service was created to help improve IT projects, but instead hindered delivery of this Programme. In addition to delaying payments to farmers, Programme costs have risen by 40% and penalties from the European Commission are likely to increase significantly."