Farmers in the United Kingdom are being asked for their views on how well the Rural Payments Agency’s (RPA) appeals panels work.
As part of the wider Government drive to review public bodies, Defra is reviewing the effectiveness of the RPA’s Independent Agricultural Appeals Panels (IAAP).
The panels make recommendations to Ministers on appeals against the RPA’s decisions on Common Agricultural Policy payment claims. The review will consider how the appeals panels operate, the continuing need for such a body, and how the process can be made more efficient.
Asking for people’s views alongside the review, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice, who is also Chair of the RPA Oversight Board, said:
“A lot of work is already being done to put customer service at the centre of what the RPA does, and we want to build on this by making sure the appeals panels work as well as they possibly can. That’s why we need farmers and others in the industry who are directly affected to give us their views. I know farmers are as keen as I am to see improvements happen as quickly as possible and I expect to make a decision on this early next year.”
The appeal panel review will build on the ongoing work the RPA is doing to improve its complaints and appeals procedures, and follows the publication of a new customer charter last month.