BusinessCorporate FinanceGovernment agency faces bonus ban over late payments

Government agency faces bonus ban over late payments

Commons committee wants Rural Payments Agency to hand over subsisides much more speedily to farmers

A COMMONS committee is demanding a ban on bonuses to ‘punish’ civil servants responsible for the continued inability of the Rural Payments Agency to hand over subsidies required by the Common Agricultural Policy to farmers on time.

MPs ARE calling for the ban until they have significantly improved its performance in a move that would set a precedent that will alarm the accounting officers of government departments and agencies who are held responsible for performance.

The unprecedented move by from the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is in protest at the way farmers are continuing to be paid late.

In a hard-hitting letter to environment minister Caroline Spelman, the EFRA Committee warned the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that farmers are still suffering as a result of persistent administrative failures.

An earlier NAO report accused the agency of “scant regard for protecting public money after incurring £680m in unforeseen costs on top of £350m for IT systems. It has incurred “fines” from the European Commission for failing to meet deadlines for making payments.

Committee chair Anne McIntosh said: “Many MPs continue to hear harrowing stories of the hardship caused to farmers by late payment from the RPA.”

In a letter to DEFRA on behalf of the committee, she complained that when Mark Grimshaw, former head of the ill-fated Child Support Agency and now RPA chief executive, gave evidence to the committee he “was unable to give us an assurance that there would be no performance bonuses for RPA staff in respect of 2009-10”.

She wrote: “The committee seeks the department’s undertaking that money will not be available for performance bonuses for RPA staff involved in SPS payments until there is clear and independently audited evidence of the agency achieving very significant performance improvements.”

Related Articles

HMRC outlines points-based penalty model for MTD

MTD HMRC outlines points-based penalty model for MTD

17h Alia Shoaib, Reporter
LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

19h Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
PwC replaces EY as Domino's auditor

Audit PwC replaces EY as Domino's auditor

2d Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Haines Watts continues to grow with latest London-based acquisition

Mergers And Acquisitions Haines Watts continues to grow with latest London-based acquisition

2d Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
Viewpoint: Are office pets beasts of burden or a blessed relief to accountancy firms?

Career Viewpoint: Are office pets beasts of burden or a blessed relief to accountancy firms?

3d AJ Chambers Recruitment
Deloitte hires ex-HSBC global head of IFRS as partner

Big Four Deloitte hires ex-HSBC global head of IFRS as partner

3d Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
Investment firm acquires Avon Steel Company Limited

Business Recovery Investment firm acquires Avon Steel Company Limited

6d Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Manchester law firm enters into administration

Business Recovery Manchester law firm enters into administration

6d Emma Smith, Managing Editor