Thursday, September 06, 2007

British Bureaucrats Screw Up Farm Payments

To the best of my knowledge, FSA has done better than the Brits:
The handling of a £1.5bn computerised farm payments scheme by two senior civil servants is condemned by MPs today as "a masterclass in bad decision-making" which could land taxpayers with a £500m extra bill. A highly critical report from the Commons public accounts committee accuses Sir Brian Bender, then permanent secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, of being "largely responsible" for the fiasco, which left tens of thousands of farmers without any cash from the European Union.
Some interesting points that pop up as sidenotes--apparently the EU has a small payment cutoff--like $100 or so, which the Brits didn't use, giving them lots of small claims to pay. And the EU is able to fine the British over their failures of administration. The British fired some of the people responsible, but had to pay compensation for not fully following the rules (sounds familiar). And most familiar of all--a top guy is criticized for not having the nerve to stand up to the leaders and give them the bad news.

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