Corporate report

The administration of the 2005 Single Payment Scheme by the Rural Payments Agency

This document contains the following information: Cold comfort: the administration of the 2005 Single Payment Scheme by the Rural Payments Agency second report, session 2009 to 2010.

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Cold comfort: the administration of the 2005 Single Payment Scheme by the Rural Payments Agency second report, session 2009-2010 - Full Text

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This document contains the following information: Cold comfort: the administration of the 2005 Single Payment Scheme by the Rural Payments Agency second report, session 2009 to 2010.

This report sets out the results of investigation into complaints, using two representative case studies, about the administration of the 2005 Single Payment Scheme in England, including the Rural Land Register.

The Ombudsman made five general findings of maladministration: the Rural Payments Agency did not meet the legal obligation to determine entitlements by 31 December 2005; Defra and RPA failed to heed the warning information of their own systems and from the Office of Government Commerce; RPA’s and Defra’s public statements in early 2006 failed to recognise the internal concerns they had; on 30 January 2006 Defra officials and Ministers considered RPA’s position - the best case scenario was 70% of payments to be made by the end of March 2006 and they decided to tell Parliament that RPA would make the ‘bulk’ of payments by the end of March 2006; RPA was the only body in a position to estimate how much more digital mapping work it would have and its planning for the mapping process fell far short of getting it right.

In short the Ombudsman’s principles of getting it right, being open and accountable and being customer focused, were not adhered to.

This paper was laid before Parliament in response to a legislative requirement or as a Return to an Address and was ordered to be printed by the House of Commons.