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Report cover showing a harvester in a field

DEFRA: A progress update in resolving the difficulties in administering the Single Payment Scheme in England

“Since my report over a year ago on the implementation of the Single Payment Scheme, the Rural Payments Agency has made encouraging progress in remedying the problems I highlighted, as demonstrated by an increase in farmers’ satisfaction with the handling of their claims.

“But, until the Agency is in the position consistently to meet the June deadline each year and can process payments within an acceptable tolerance of error, the risk is that farmers’ confidence in the scheme will wane and the European Commission will levy financial penalties.”

Published:
12 Dec 2007
Waste disposal site

DEFRA: Reducing the impact of business waste through the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme

“There are indications that the Programme has delivered some positive results: participating businesses have reported benefits, and there should be further long term gains in terms of reductions in business waste. However, the low awareness of the Programme among businesses and the absence of clear targets and reliable information to measure progress mean we cannot say whether the Department achieved value for money from the £240 million spent on the Programme.”

Published:
5 Mar 2010
Organic orchard

Defra’s organic agri-environment scheme

“Defra should learn from this scheme and get a lot better at putting credible measurement arrangements in place to demonstrate whether public funds are being used properly. It appears likely that Defra’s scheme helped to deliver environmental benefits by encouraging organic farming, but we can’t draw a similar conclusion on the land management measures and I would have expected a greater environmental benefit for the taxpayer’s funding contribution.”

Published:
31 Mar 2010
Report cover showing some flowers

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Management of Expenditure

“It is good news that the Department has recognised and is addressing its poor past performance on financial management. But there is still some way to go before we can feel confident that public money is being spent effectively and efficiently. The Department needs to maintain these first steps, if it is to cope in the tough financial environment reflected in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.”

Published:
6 Mar 2008