§ The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Margaret Beckett)
I have set the Rural Payments Agency the following performance targets for 2004–05:
To process and pay at least 96.14 per cent. of valid IACS claims by value within EU deadline.84WS
To process and pay at least 80 per cent. of valid non-IACS claims by volume within ministerial guidelines and 99 per cent. within the set EU Commission deadlines or in their absence 60 days.
To process and pay at least 98.5 per cent. of valid claims correctly.
To record calf registrations and issue passports within 14 days of a valid application in 90 per cent. of cases.
Working with DEFRA Communications and Policy Directorates to agree by 31 December 2004 an effective customer communications strategy for the Single Payment Scheme.
To ensure that disallowance within the control of RPA due to non-compliance with EU requirements remains below 2.5 per cent. of the value of CAP payments made by the agency.
To complete the agreed inspection programme for CAP schemes in accordance with EU regulatory requirements, taking into account any approved derogations.
Subject to timely agreement on relevant CAP reform policy issues and the availability of the funding set out in the December 2003 business case, to have developed the new processing system in order to support the Single Payment Scheme under CAP reform so that payments under this scheme can be made during the 2005–06 scheme payment window.
To provide 95 per cent. of customers by 31 March 2005 with details of that part of their entitlement under the Single Payment Scheme which relates to their historic receipts from existing schemes.
To develop an effective procedure for resolving queries to support the provision of details of historic entitlements.
To provide accurate and timely operational advice in support of policy development and DEFRA business systems.
To develop a baselined workforce planning strategy by 31 March 2005 to inform future staffing levels, skills requirements and reward policy.
To manage recruitment and retention issues actively to ensure that unplanned turnover does not exceed 5 per cent., so as to meet "bulge" and business continuity requirements.
To reduce sick absence at BCMS by two days per staff year against the final outturn per staff year in 2002–03.