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Rural Payments Agency

Volume 709: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what fines have been levied on the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in respect of faulty administration; to whom these fines are payable; when they were paid or are due to be paid; and from what sources the RPA finances the payment of these fines. [HL1878]

The RPA has had the following financial corrections applied by the European Commission over the past five financial years:

2008-09—£140.475 million;

2007-08—£22.154 million;

2006-07—£3.049 million;

2005-06—£22.608 million; and

2004-05—£12.170 million.

It is not possible to provide a detailed list as requested because it would incur disproportionate costs, but in summary:

payments are deducted from subsequent claim reimbursements, two months after the correction decision is formally published, but with the exception of late payment penalties, which are deducted at the time of the claim being submitted. In this case the correction decision is retrospective;

the largest reductions have been approximately £60 million for the failure to meet payment deadlines on SPS 2005 claims and approximately £55 million for the inaccurate determination of the area eligible for payments under the arable area payment scheme (AAPS) in 2004 and 2005; and

they have been financed via a separate ring-fenced budget.