Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rural Payments Agency pays out 1/4 million in bonuses to staff?

The problems at the Rural Payments Agency have been well documented over the past year or so. Magaret Beckett's, and her successor David Miliband at DEFRA have presided over a complete mess which is no secret, and has had a devastating effect on many parts of the farming community.

Still, even though the agency's utter incompetence has been known about for ages, and the talk of the farming industry, it is interesting the levels of bonuses that it paid to it's staff during the past few years.

In 2004-05 the total bonuses paid out to staff at the Agency were £323,567, the following year it was £249,025 and last year it was £243,072. The highest bonuses in two of those years were pushing up to £20,000 and last year the highest bonus was £10,000.

To be fair the bonuses are coming down, which, one could argue is precisely because of the problems. However, given the sheer scale of the mess in payments from the Agency (and remember it's primary purpose is payments) should there even be bonuses being paid out at all? I imagine those who found themselves on their needs because of the Agency's incompetence will think not.


lilith said...

DEFRA = Department for the Elimination of Farming and Rural Affairs.

Anonymous said...

Wouldnt it be easier for them to take a load of money ,and go around the countryside and throw it at people ,shirly that would be a better way to distribute it ,than paying eu fines and these hangers on for doing nothing.

Chris Paul said...

Mili = successor, not predecessor? Anyway - if workers have performance related pay and they perform they get extra pay.

This is not a Labour idea particularly ... is this an announcement that a Tory government would scrap all performance related pay elements - and presumably encourage industry to do likewise - unless the org as a whole also did well?

Or dishonouring existing PRP contracts? I think we should be told.

Imagine what DEFRA would be like without 30 or so high performers! In Civil Service terms this is a bit like Siberia, or Stormont, or Social Fund ...

dizzy said...

it's early.

Athos said...


The key factor of performance related pay is that we assume that the relationship is a positive one: i.e. you perform better you get paid more.
I think Dizzy is debating the wisdom of giving positive rewards to people who have performed poorly (if at all). Given that the figures are showing that huge amounts of payments have still not been passed on to the farmers to whom they are owed (the entire purpose of that particular department of DEFRA), why exactly is their performance considered so high when their pay is in question?