Public Accounts Committee

Early review of the Common Agricultural Policy Delivery Programme inquiry

Inquiry status: open

Inquiry launched on 3 December 2015.

Scope of the inquiry

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Delivery Programme is a combined effort between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rural Payments Agency, Government Digital Service and other bodies to develop new systems and processes to support the implementation of the CAP in England. It was established in 2012 to address failings in how it was previously delivered and to adapt to the increased complexity of the new CAP. The original vision and design of the Programme was narrow, focussing largely on procuring IT systems, and was set back by numerous changes in leadership.

In March 2015, in response to serious failings of the system, the online application system was withdrawn and replaced by "paper-assisted digital" applications for the 2015 scheme. Despite these challenges, the Department is making good progress to meeting its target of paying Basic Payment Scheme claims for the majority of farmers in December. This inquiry examines the significant challenges that remain to make sure this year’s payments are accurate, to prepare for future years, to maximise Programme benefits and minimise disallowance penalties.

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