17 November 1995

Farmers help unravel red tape

By Mike Stones

MAFF plans to recruit two farmers to help untie red tape plaguing the farming industry.

The producers will be enlisted as part of MAFFs Efficiency Scrutiny which began on Monday (Nov 13).

Head of the scrutiny team, Ray Anderson, said: "We want to involve two ordinary working farmers on the team to work two days a week on a paid-for basis. Ideally one farmer should be farming on a relatively small-scale, preferably in the hills.

"The teams aim is to reduce the burden of paperwork on farmers by eliminating duplication and cutting out requests for information where there is no clear justification for requiring that information," said Mr Anderson.

"It has been asked to find out why MAFF needs the range of information that it does and examine the scope to rationalise MAFFs information demands and simplify the job of form-filling."

The scrutiny covers England and Wales and is part of the governments War on Waste initiative. It will focus first on identifying all the forms farmers have to fill out. "We want to find out why farmers are receiving these forms and what they are using them for," said Mr Anderson.

Farmers views about forms will be canvassed with particular attention paid to achieving both a broad range of opinion from different areas and from different types of producer.

Farm minister Douglas Hogg said: "I am well aware that the Ministry generates a great deal of paperwork which farmers have to complete if they are to obtain grants or subsidies.

"The aim of the team will be to report with firm recommendations by the end of March 1996." &#42