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The Rural Payments online system opened for BPS applications on 1st March 2017. This was earlier than expected, and bodes well for a more timely approach by the RPA to 2017 BPS applications.
Despite this, we are seeing many clients still with outstanding issues from their 2016, or even 2015 claims. Although the RPA met its target to pay 93% of claimants by January 2017, many of these payments were incorrect, with erroneous penalties or areas of land missing from the payment. Those with common land as part of their claim are still waiting to be paid.
Following the Brexit decision last summer, the Rural Payments Agency has confirmed that it has not allocated any money to spend on upgrading the IT system (which may become surplus to requirements after 2020). The system is not without its flaws, for example the inability to print a whole farm maps – something which causes us great frustration in the office!
However, there are many advantages to using it and the level of information available on the system makes the claims process easier. The RPA’s online mapping for example, is now quite detailed and has been much updated over the last 12 months. In this respect, carefully checking field data before making a 2017 claim will be very important to make sure the information is correct.
The RPA has also been proactive in allocating agents with individual managers that we can contact directly to discuss individual clients’ claims. We hope that this will help to speed up outstanding claim corrections and give us some continuity in resolving problems, rather than waiting in an (often lengthy) queue for the lucky dip on the RPA helpline!
If you have outstanding issues with your 2016 Basic Payment Scheme claim, or queries on your 2017 application then please contact Stags on 01392 439046 or email@example.com for a free, no obligation discussion with your local professional.