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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.”


15 Oct 2009

Administration of the Crown Court

“HM Courts Service faces a tight budgetary position and needs to get the most from its estate, staff and IT resources if Crown Court cases are to start promptly. The Service needs to improve its allocation and development of staff, so that it has enough well-trained people in each of its court locations, and tackle weaknesses in IT systems which currently bring operational risks and impair efficiency.”

6 Mar 2009

Better Public Services through e-government

“A significant amount of taxpayers’ money is being spent on delivering public services through electronic means. We have found examples of innovative practice but there is much to do to realise the full potential from using internet technology and ensure a sufficient number of people use public services delivered electronically. The major challenge is to get services on-line and to encourage and enable people to use them. Otherwise the considerable potential gains in departments’ efficiency will not be delivered and large amounts of public money will have been wasted.”

4 Apr 2002