HL Deb 15 July 1998 vol 592 cc37-8WA
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)
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)
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


  1. (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.
  2. (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.

General Notes:

  1. (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.
  2. (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.
  3. (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.
  4. (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.