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RPA started with BPS payments, NAO says government bodies are ineffective

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Staff writer ▼ | December 2, 2015
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) of the UK announced that BPS payments had been made to over 33,000 farmers on Tuesday, the first day of the payment window.
UK farmer tractor
United Kingdom   The Rural Payments Agency is giving the money
Government bodies have come under fire for failings in the CAP payment scheme reforms. The agency said the remaining payments will be made “as soon as possible”, and assured that it remains on track to pay over half of eligible BPS claims by the end of the month, and the vast majority by the end of January.2

RPA has said more complex cases, such as claims with commons; cross border claims; probate cases; or size issues will take longer to process.

Environment Secretary Liz Truss said, “After making dairy support payments a fortnight ahead of schedule, the RPA has now pulled out all the stops to get BPS payments underway. I know RPA staff are continuing to work flat out to ensure the agency meets its commitment to pay the majority of farmers by the end of this month.”

The Defra secretary’s statement coincides with findings released by the National Audit Office (NAO), which oversees government spending, suggesting that a poor working relationship and ineffective collaboration between government bodies led to the major hiccoughs seen in the payment scheme this year.

Publishing a review of the government’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments reform on Tuesday, NAO head Amyas Morse said this poor collaboration hindered Defra’s planned revamp of the payment service, resulting in increased costs and poor returns.