Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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2013 review of the Rural Payments Agency

A review of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is to be carried out by its sponsor department, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.

The review will consider the RPA’s financial and operational activities, as well as its management capability, and will take account of previous National Audit Office findings and Parliamentary review.

The review will chaired by the Director General of the Food and Farming Group within Defra. It will initially consider the RPA’s financial and operational (Single Payment Scheme-related) processes, identifying where the RPA may be able to make improvements and efficiencies in its activities.

Farming Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“This review is being carried out in the usual course of business to ensure that the RPA is ready to react to any changes to the Common Agricultural Policy in 2013.

“It benefits us all to ensure that the RPA is operating efficiently and I look forward to the final outcome of the review.”

The objectives of this review are to provide Defra management with an evidenced view of RPA's activities, and the options open to the department as a result, taking account of the following key elements:

  • To ensure that the RPA is well-positioned to implement any changes brought about in the Common Agricultural Policy from 2013;
  • The need to demonstrate a sensible Return on Investment (ROI) in any imminent or new decisions; and
  • The need to avoid any deterioration in the RPA’s current ability to make payments to farmers.

For more information of the RPA visit: www.rpa.gov.uk/rpa/index.nsf/home

Notes to editors

  1. Stage one of the review aims to provide a consistent, reliable and forecastable approach to handling financial year-end reporting. An external contractor to carry out this work will be appointed shortly.

  2. For more information on the NAO visit: http://www.nao.org.uk/

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