§ Baroness Young of Old Scone
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has made in meeting the service delivery targets set out in Commitment to Service. [HL2698]
§ Lord Donoughue
The table below sets out the performance achieved by regional service centres during 1997–98 against the targets published in the charter documentCommitment to Service, second edition.
RSC performance data (%) for financial year 1997–98 (unless otherwise specified) Total Arabic Area Payments Scheme Oilseeds Main payments 99 Advanced payments 99 Final payments 99 Beef Special Premium Scheme Advance payments (1997) 96 Balance payments (1996) 100 CID applications issued (1997) 99 Premium paid CIDs issued (1997) 99 Suckler Cow Premium Scheme Balance payments 1996 99 Advance payments 1997 99 Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances Claims 1997 99 Sheep Annual Premium Scheme Claims marketing year 1997 99 Environmentally Sensitive Areas Applications 82 Claims 96 Environmentally Sensitive Applications 87 Areas Conservation Plan Claims 96 Farm & Conservation Grant Scheme 1989 Plan claims 98 Farm & Conservation Grant Scheme 1991 Plan claims 86
RSC performance data (%) for financial year 1997–98 (unless otherwise specified) Total Farm Woodland Premium Scheme Applications 93 Claims (1997) 80 Injurious Weeds Complaints 98 Pilot Nitrate Sensitive Areas Scheme Claims (1997) 77 New Nitrate Sensitive Areas Scheme Applications (1997) 98 Claims 99 Protection of Badgers Act 1992 Licence applications 99 Strychnine Permits Applications 99 Agricultural Wage inspections Complaints 92 Wildlife & Countryside Act Licence applications 98 Correspondence Answered within 10 working days 98 Complaints Numbers receiving response within 10 working days 89
- (i) The relatively high failure rate for ESA applications and ESA conservation plan applications is due mainly to problems associated with IACS reconciliation. In the case of F&CGS 1991 plan claims, it is due to small numbers of claims giving rise to a disproportionate number of complex problems.
- (ii) The relatively high failure rate for the FWPS claims and the pilot NSA claims is due to the diversion of staff resources to higher priority work.
- (i) The total percentage has been calculated by setting the entire number of applications or claims cleared within the target time against the total number received. Applications and claims not cleared due to reasons beyond our control (incorrect information supplied by applicant, etc.) are not included as failures to meet target.
- (ii) The Farm & Conservation Grant Scheme (1991) plan applications, the Farm Diversification Grant Scheme (Capital Items) claims, the Farm Diversification Grant Scheme (Feasibility & Marketing) claims and the Agricultural Improvement Scheme Plan claims have all been omitted from the table, as the numbers involved are de-minimis.
- (iii) The Five Year Set Aside Scheme closed for new applications on 30 September 1996. Performance data are therefore not included in the table. Similarly the Farm & Conservation Grant Scheme (1989) non-plan claims have also been omitted: this scheme closed on 19 February 1996.
- (iv) Ten complaints were referred to the MAFF adjudicator during the year. Three of these were upheld, six were not upheld. One case is outstanding, pending the conclusion of legal action by the complainant.