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RPA in need of "urgent reform" says Farron after report slams agency debacle

December 16, 2009 12:00 AM

The Rural Payments Agency must undergo "urgent reform" according to Liberal Democrat Shadow Defra Secretary Tim Farron MP, who has expressed his concern that farmers could continue to pay the penalty for the agency's bureaucratic bungling.

Mr Farron was commenting after Parliament's Public Accounts Committee heaped the blame on Defra for its failure to get to grips with the 'debacle' of the RPA.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"Today's report doesn't tell us anything that we didn't already know, which is that the Rural Payments Agency is an organisation in complete disarray and in need of urgent reform.

"I've long had concerns about the workings of the RPA and this latest episode will do nothing to reassure farmers about Defra's ability to deliver effective support to farmers.

"Ministers' reassurances about improved performances certainly won't wash with farmers already suffering under the current chaotic payments regime.

"The RPA's constant bureaucratic bungling reinforces the need for a simpler, more cost-effective system which will help farmers get their payments efficiently, effectively and on time."