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A second progress update on the administration of the Single Payment Scheme by the Rural Payments Agency

“This is the third time we have looked at the Single Payment Scheme and there are still significant issues to be resolved. There has been a serious lack of attention to the protection of taxpayers’ interests over the administration of the scheme.  There has been a lack of senior management ownership of the scheme in the Agency and DEFRA, even though the risks were previously highlighted by the Committee of Public Accounts.

 

“Previous assurances on overall progress in recovering overpayments from farmers proved optimistic and reflect a lack of reliable information on actual progress.  DEFRA should urgently address the risks to ongoing IT system support and the inaccuracy of the scheme’s data, explore alternative payment systems and resolve the ongoing management issues.”

 

Published:
15 Oct 2009
Autumn 2020

Achieving government’s long-term environmental goals

In January 2018, government published its 25 Year Environment Plan (the Plan), setting out its ambition to improve the natural environment in England within a generation, both for the direct benefits this would bring, as well as to support its influence overseas and position the UK as a global environmental leader. The Plan included ten … Read more

Late 2020

Achieving net zero

In June 2019, the government passed legislation committing it to achieving ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This means that the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions should be equal to or less than the emissions the UK removes from the environment either by the natural environment or carbon capture technologies. Achieving net zero will … Read more

Close up of wind turbine implying sustainability

Addressing the environmental impacts of Government procurement

“Minimising environmental impact is recognised by government as a key criterion of good procurement. In 2008 progress was made by departments, but only some are on target to be practising sustainable procurement across their business by the end of this year. Procurement decisions need to be supported by a more thorough understanding of environmental benefits and costs, so that departments can show that their procurement meets the twin requirements of sustainability and value for money.”

Central government and its agencies, excluding the NHS, spent £54.7 billion in 2007-08 on the procurement of non-capital goods and services. In March 2008 the government created the post of Chief Sustainability Officer, supported by a Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement at the Office of Government Commerce.

Published:
29 Apr 2009