DECEMBER 16, 2009: The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s decision to recommend the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) apologise and compensate individuals who have been failed by the system is the right one, says the Country Land and Business Association.

CLA President William Worsley said: “We welcome the findings of the Ombudsman which highlight the poor administration of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and Rural Land Register mapping exercise. “Members need payments to be made on time and accurately, but where mistakes are made they also deserve compensation. The RPA must be equipped to handle this. A more efficient running of the RPA would result in fewer compensation cases.” Mr Worsley added: “The RPA should apologise for the anguish it has caused to the individuals affected who also should expect to receive compensation. Every year, the CLA receives a large number of calls concerning the SPS. The RPA must be prepared to be held to account when it fails. “We also have concerns about the slow progress in the latest round of RLR mapping and the potential impact this could have on schemes next year.”