12/06/12 ~ RPA sets tough new performance standards for 2012/13
On the back of a record-breaking performance in 2011, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) promises to do even better this year including an SPS pledge to pay 91% of claimants and 84% of value by the end of December 2012.
The RPA’s Business Plan 2012/13, published today (12 June), builds on the Agency’s widely acknowledged achievements of last year by setting challenging new indicators for every area of operations including, for example, speed and accuracy of payments, levels of customer satisfaction and financial controls.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Grimshaw said:
“Thanks to the hard work of our people and the support of our industry partners and Defra, I believe we have now turned a corner on our way to becoming a trusted, efficient and effective organisation.
“Farmers and food producers rely on RPA support to make their businesses more competitive and, thereby, our rural communities more sustainable. For their sakes, there will be no let-up in our drive to improve performance for our customers and the tax-payer in 2012/13.“
Headline indicators for 2012/13
- An average customer satisfaction rate of at least 80% across the year
- SPS: 91% of customers and 84% of value by the end of December 2012; 97% of customers and 97% by value by the end of March 2013
- Trader scheme payments: 95% within 28 days of receipt; 99% within 60 days of receipt
- Rural Development Programme for England scheme payments: 98% within 5 working days of request
- Accurate payments - measured at 98% of the financial value
- Cattle in Great Britain – record at least 98% of reported births, deaths and movements within seven days of receipt
- Customer charter commitments on response times and levels of service
- Maintain a focus on costs
- SPS Online to account for a third of applications
- Faster turnaround for online applications for cattle passports
The plan also reveals the first detail of what will be achieved in year one (2012/13) of the five year strategy announced in February. These include specific, measurable strategic improvements aimed at stabilising the Agency in preparation for CAP reform (Strategic Improvement Plan 2012-2015). The coming months will also see the start of procurement for an IT solution capable of delivering those reforms (Future Options Programme 2014-2017).
A copy of the Business Plan may be found here
NOTES TO EDITORS
We said, we did - Achievements 2011/12
- SPS 2011 Performance We turned in our best performance ever on Single Payment Scheme (SPS) 2011 payments, meeting the first of our performance indicators two weeks early, in mid-December. By the first week of March we had paid out 95.4% of the fund to 96% of claimants – three weeks ahead of target. This meant RPA had also met the EU target, preventing fines, nearly four months ahead of time. Good progress was made in tackling some of the SPS legacy issues, including a continued focus on accuracy as well as payment speed. As promised we focused on those complex claims often paid late in the payment window with the result that more were paid in December and early in the New Year. We also fulfilled a commitment to make decisions earlier on manual payments – another contributing factor to our success in this scheme year.
- SPS Online Performance 2012 At close of play on Friday 18 May, RPA had received just over 103,000 Single Payment Scheme 2012 applications - about 59,500 were paper forms with 43,700 submitted online. Work to reconcile forms which came in online or in paper format by post or via drop-in centres is ongoing and final figures will be issued shortly. For the 2011 scheme year, 31,376 claims were made online, almost double the number of claims filed electronically in the previous year.
- Customer Service Publication of a new charter setting out clearly the standards of service our customers may expect and what to do if things go wrong. This has recently been reviewed and a new strengthened version issued with firmer commitments on service levels.
- Fruit and Vegetable Exceptional Aid Scheme We demonstrated our ability to rise to new and unforeseen challenges. When UK growers of fresh fruit and vegetables were affected by the disruption resulting from the E.Coli outbreak in Germany early last summer, we introduced and managed an Exceptional Aid Scheme. By August, two months ahead of deadline, we had processed payments totalling £566,114.21 to 22 separate claimants for withdrawn or non harvested lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Corporate Change We have put in place a new executive management structure (a team of permanent, committed civil servants), introduced robust business disciplines and agreed functions and responsibilities. These corporate changes were reflected in a new framework document published earlier this year outlining how we would continue to work with Defra, our parent department.
- Operational Review We also undertook a review of every area of our operations in detail to find out how we could make the Agency more efficient. Key to this was finding out what the farming industry and our customers thought, to ensure any changes were relevant to their business needs.
- New Cattle Passport One result of this collaboration was the introduction last year of a new single page cattle passport which is set to produce savings of £1m a year for the taxpayer and has been welcomed by the industry as a ‘greener’ and cheaper system for registering animal movements.
The Rural Payments Agency’s
- Launch of our Five Year Plan designed to stabilise the Agency during the remaining Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) period while specifying and procuring replacement systems to meet the challenges of CAP 2013.
work helps the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to encourage a thriving farming and food sector and strong rural communities. RPA makes Common Agricultural Policy support payments, traces livestock and carries out inspections. We manage more than 40 schemes, paying farmers and traders more than £2 billion each year. To administer such a wide range of schemes and meet EU requirements we manage information on more than two million land parcels.
Media enquiries: Lynne Nasti
Media & Communications Manager
Rural Payments Agency
Direct Line: 0118 968 7680.
Page published: 12 June 2012