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Field Mapping

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the level of accuracy in field mapping by the Rural Payments Agency; and what measures his Department is undertaking to improve accuracy. (80702)

[holding answer 27 June 2006]: The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is responsible for the maintenance of the Rural Land Register (RLR), and information from the RLR is used to support claims to the Single Payment Scheme. The process of digitising land and amending existing land registrations has been amended recently, with activity brought back onto RPA’s main computer system. This followed a period when an outsourced provider was used to digitise land during a period of exceptionally high demand.

The digitisation process itself includes a number of quality checks to ensure that the correct land parcel and area are digitised. Where errors are found they are corrected before maps are issued to customers. Further amendments are made where customers identify issues with the maps they receive. RPA is aware of a number of cases where there have been issues with maps sent to customers. The re-establishment of an in-house process will aid the cross check of new and amended land areas to customer details.