Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Little Comfort' in RPA Performance Report

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Little Comfort' in RPA Performance Report

Article excerpt

Byline: By Anna Lognonne

Farmers have this week slammed a report on the RPA's performance and future prospects.

Following the publication this week of the Hunter Review, a report reviewing the future of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) published by Defra, farming groups have said that it has simply stated the obvious and has set an unambitious agenda to compensate for the department's inadequacies.

The report concluded that closer working relationships were needed to prevent past mistakes from being repeated, but it stressed no major changes should be made until the situation with the Single Payments Scheme had stabilised.

Angus Collingwood-Cameron, North East regional director for the CLA, said: "This review is deeply disappointing. It has taken a year to say things that we knew already, such as 'the agency's priority is getting the Single Payment Scheme sorted.' We did not need a report to tell us this.

"Also, its key recommendation is to set a low aspiration for the RPA's future performance ( it says the RPA's target in 2008 must be to get 'the end to end process from application to payment compressed as nearly as possible within a 12-month period.

"Are we supposed to applaud such a lack of ambition? Should not that have been achieved in 2006?

"We were hardly expecting more from an internal review set up in the days of Defra's obfuscation and obstruction but it is nevertheless depressing that something so bland has taken so long and gives so little comfort to those who have suffered, and are still suffering, due to the ineptitude of the RPA.

"It is encouraging to note the improvement in the administration of the 2006 Single Farm Payment, but there are still many farmers across the North-East with unresolved issues relating to 2005. They will not be remotely encouraged by this report."

The report said the RPA should remain as a Defra agency, concentrating on its core business as a paying agent, but that the two needed to work more closely together to achieve its long-term goal of getting correct SPS payments out to farmers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.