Feeds

IT errors continue to plague EU single payments scheme

Farmers still short changed

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Rural Payments Agency still has plenty to do to resolve the IT difficulties it experienced in implementing the EU Single Payment Scheme.

A report by the National Audit Office finds that the agency has yet to deal with all those farmers who were paid too little in 2005 – the first year of the scheme – nor recovered the sums from those claimants who were paid too much.

The Single Payment Scheme (SPS) was introduced to replace 11 separate subsidies with a single payment based on land area.

The progress report says the agency had been plagued by considerable difficulties in capturing and processing information about farmers' land areas and failed to meet its own target dates and the EU June deadline for making payments to farmers. Financial hardship was the result for a large number of farmers.

The report says in the scheme's second year, the RPA improved its handling of farmers' payments by processing 98 per cent of payments by value by the June 2007 deadline. But in estimating that overpayments in 2005 could be as high as £6.8m, with underpayments of £19.3m, it also says the risk of the EU imposing a disallowance penalty remains.

According to the NAO, work is scheduled to "streamline the claim process, cleanse data, improve the quality of management information, and support whole-case working" by implementing a range of major IT releases, together with minor system and process enhancements.

NAO chief Sir John Bourn said: "Since my report over a year ago on the implementation of the SPS, the RPA has made encouraging progress in remedying the problems I highlighted, as demonstrated by an increase in farmers' satisfaction with the handling of their claims.

"But until the agency is in the position consistently to meet the June deadline each year, and can process payments within an acceptable tolerance of error, the risk is that farmers' confidence in the scheme will wane and the European Commission will levy financial penalties."

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.