Feeds

IT errors continue to plague EU single payments scheme

Farmers still short changed

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.