CLA blames single farm payment problems on Rural Payments Agency’s mangement

The Country Land and Business Association has rejected claims that the organisation is partly responsible for the single farm payment crisis, because of its support for a hybrid payment system.

Giving evidence to the environment, food and rural affairs select committee, CLA chief economist Allan Buckwell said blame for the debacle should fall on the Rural Payments Agency’s management and its IT system.

“I have to point out that Germany, which is implementing a dynamic hybrid over all of the Landers, managed to make 80% of payments by December,” he said.

“Now that points the finger very clearly. [The problems] are nothing to do with the system chosen, it is to deal with the capability and ability to map land and deal with an IT system.”

Prof Buckwell said measuring the fields of 120,000 applicants and paying out money within a 12 month timetable, should not have been “very demanding”.

But deep-rooted problems in registering and mapping land, along with a decision to process applications on a task-basis had “condemned the process to disappear into a complexity that we’re still trying to unravel”.

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