back to article MPs slam Defra over rural payments system

Rushed testing of IT and poor management led to the failure of the single payments scheme for farmers, says a parliamentary report. The chair of the House of Commons' public accounts committee, Edward Leigh, has condemned the government for its failure to implement the single payments scheme to farmers effectively. Leigh …


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  1. Rich Bryant

    On the other hand

    On the other hand, it did speed up the ongoing masterplan to turn what remains of British Agriculture into a "Heritage Environment" consisting of golf courses, stately homes, caravan parks for Mrs Becket and barn conversions for wealthy executives.

    I mean really, what's a few quid when the payoff is even more bankrupted farmers and ever closer ties with our "European Partners", without whom we would now starve?

  2. GreyWolf

    Not only but also

    DEFRA then proceeded to recoup the losses and fines caused by their own incompetence, by cutting all their spending on maintenance of the inland waterways system, causing a major national asset to fall into ruin just when we'll need it as soon as oil prices start climbing.

    There's nothing wrong with DEFRA that wouldn't be fixed by sacking the lot (inc removing all the knighthoods from the slimey idiots at the top)

  3. BitTwister

    Redefinition needed

    DEFRA - the Department for the Elimination of Farming and Rural Affairs, and making a fine job of it too.

    Will any heads roll? Oh puleeze...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Defra teaching Masterclasses

    "a master class in bad decision making, poor planning, incomplete testing of IT systems, confused lines of responsibility and a failure by the management team to face up to the unfolding crisis."

    Defra cannot make decisions. They are all so scared of making a mistake that they spend three times as much money deliberating, 'fact-finding' and procrastinating than two failed attempts and a successful implementation would have taken.

    They are very good at solutioning, but not very good at providing requirements, which means that any project is pretty much doomed from the start.

    They have no recognised lines of responsibility. There are hundreds of little empires which refuse to share (information, resources) with other parts of the same organisation.

    As someone else said, strip out some of the dead wood, and take on people who can make decisions.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "bad decision making" indeed

    This isn't a pretty story from anyone's point of view but how does the article's author manage to get through the whole article without even mentioning the name of T Bliar's favourite consultants, Accenture, the folks whose top brass are getting rich on the taxpayers (and farmers) money here (and elsewhere)?

    "Accenture made an unsatisfactory start; while the RPA and Defra disagree with Accenture about whether it was late in supplying parts of the IT system, the systems it delivered were slow and unreliable and not always able to cope with the volumes of work encountered; and its systems were not user-friendly.”

    “The difficulty was not that the system did not work, the difficulty was its availability ... the system kept falling over.”


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