'I write in defence of the Rural Payments Agency'

By Justin Chamberlain

- Last updated on GMT

The RPA pays farmers under CAP
The RPA pays farmers under CAP

Related tags Common agricultural policy

Sir,I write regarding the recent opinion column by Clare Cheney, headlined 'Nobody does IT better - except the Dutch'. 

It contains factual inaccuracies about the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and wrongly attributes information to the RPA.

The RPA computer system introduced in 2005 to make Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments did not cost £2bn, as the article states. An independent review of the RPA, published in July 2010, reported that this cost was £350M.

The article also asserts that RPA has predicted that it will be able to reduce the cost of each 'payment' to a few pounds. The RPA has not given any figure as the detail of CAP reform has yet to be agreed in Europe.

I trust that this clarifies these important points.

Justin Chamberlain

Customer director

Rural Payments Agency

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