Farm subsidy IT to cost £90m

The government is to spend at least £90m on new IT hardware and software to support the single payment scheme – the new subsidy for farmers introduced as part of a shake-up of the common agricultural policy.

The government is to spend at least £90m on new IT hardware and software to support the single payment scheme – the new subsidy for farmers introduced as part of a shake-up of the common agricultural policy.

The SPS will bring together ten major CAP subsidies into a single handout, simplifying the scheme for farmers.

The RPA is planning to spend £70.9m to develop new computer software to support the SPS, junior rural affairs minister Jim Knight revealed in a parliamentary written answer.

“In addition to the software development costs, the RPA is also budgeted to spend £20.2m on hardware and infrastructure improvements to host the software. There are further indirect costs for project management, business process redesign, assurance and the implementation of SPS,” he said.

The new computer system was “an integral part” of a broader change programme designed to make greater use of technology to deliver all RPA services more efficiently and effectively, he added.

The change programme would see staff numbers halved to 1,650 and the number of RPA sites reduced from 12 to six as part of meeting the requirements of the Gershon efficiency review.

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