email received April 2 2006
Ours is one of those millions of 'unvalidated' claims.
Other letters - there appear to be 3 formats - give 'mapping queries' or SFP queries as the reason for non payment.
What is unique to all the letters is the last paragraph.
Don't call us. "If we don't contact you, there is no need for you to contact us" and they put it in bold so you cannot fail to see it!
The letter goes on, "validation of claims such as yours is our highest priority, and therefore we would be grateful if you would refrain from telephoning for updates on your case, as this will divert RPA staff from validation work"
On January 31st. most farmers will have paid income tax on this payment for the year - a payment they have yet to receive.
Many are in a very tight corner.
What a mess.
April 2 2006 ~ " Margaret Beckett declared: “I take full responsibility.” She meant she had just sacked one of her officials..."
Sir Simon Jenkins on the RPA fiasco
"....Only 20% of cheques have been signed, partly because a £37m government computer has declared more than 95% of claims “unvalidated”. As a result some £3 billion cannot be released from the exchequer. Ministry phones go unanswered, forms are lost, banks are preparing to foreclose on overdrafts. The BBC’s Farming Today programme is like a daily dispatch from a banana republic.See also today's Sunday Telegraph ".....thanks to the unique complexities of the system devised for England by Margaret Beckett, and the collapse of the computer system devised by Accenture (the same company that is responsible for the chaos engulfing a £6 billion computer system for the NHS), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has sitting on the money for months. Meanwhile farmers have been paying an additional £13 million a month in interest on what they borrow to make up the shortfall...." Booker's Notebook
...Two weeks ago Margaret Beckett, the relevant minister, declared: “I take full responsibility.” She meant she had just sacked one of her officials, Johnston McNeill, so as to save the skin of her farm minister, an obscure Tony crony called Lord Bach. The latter had spent six months deriding critics of his scheme as “shoddy” and creating “unfounded alarm and uncertainty”. The shambles at Defra, the rural affairs department, might win more publicity were a similar litany of woe not rising from every corner of Whitehall. ..." Read in full
March 31 2006 ~ the latest RPA processing error "Not for the fainthearted"
The latest RPA processing error is that there is an ‘issue’ with entitlement identifier numbers.
It seems that the "unique" identifier number shown for blocks of entitlements is not at all unique. Far from being a unique number there are, in fact, two; one with 7 digits and one with 8 digits. Confusion and chaos. The NFU Statement Single Payment - Frustration Mounts is a model of restraint, but nevertheless uses the phrase, "simply bad government".