There are fewer than 500 eligible claims to the 2005 single payment scheme where a final payment is outstanding. A proportion of that number is held pending the resolution of issues such as probate. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is also checking approximately 20,000 2005 cases, which include those involving queries raised by farmers, to establish whether the correct payment has been made. For the 2006 scheme year, RPA continues to process claims. A small number of payments have been made and no query has yet been raised.
As at 15 November 2006, 25,551 penalties have been applied to 2005 single payment scheme claims, affecting 19,673 single business identifiers. In addition, a further 1,823 claims were penalised owing to non-compliances found during inspections. Statistics held by the Rural Payments Agency are not categorised in such a way that it would be apparent what reasons caused the non-compliance to occur and hence the penalty to be applied.
The allocation of direct costs for administering the single payment scheme (SPS) for 2005 to 31 December 2006 amounted to £104 million. This includes the costs of scheme processing but excludes apportioned overheads. At the end of 2006, there were circa 2,000 full-time equivalent staff employed to administer the SPS. Of these, 47 per cent were permanent, fixed-term or casual employees. The remaining 53 per cent were temporary workers engaged mainly through employment agencies.