Date lodged: 11 May 2017
To ask the Scottish Government, when it will provide a substantive answer to question S5W-08896, which received a holding response on 5 May 2017.
Answered by: Fergus Ewing 25 May 2017
The overall business case for the Programme is to deliver a CAP compliant Rural Payments and Services IT Platform for £178m, and the full scope of functionality expressed in that business case is planned to be delivered over the course of the current financial year and within the £178m.
A significant proportion of SAF 2016 claims have now been processed and payments made, and the target is to make the vast majority of SAF 2016 payments by the end of June 2017, in line with CAP regulations. There are still major features to be added to the IT system, such as the Land Parcel Information component and the Scheme Accounting and Customer Account Management component, and planned core capability has still to be built in, such as that needed to incorporate inspections findings. During the last two years a significant number of other enhancements have been identified that will be built-in through further releases of the IT Platform (which is not uncommon for large and complex IT systems), and the annual business cycle for rural payments always presents the need for additional functionality to be developed. The IT Platform has been designed to enable new schemes to be added using existing components rather than developing completely new IT functionality for each.
The Rural Payments and Services IT system has now been operational for over two years. It has previously accepted online applications for SAF 2015, SAF 2016 and has operated successfully throughout the SAF 2017 submission window this year (which closed on May 15) - receiving online applications to anticipated levels.
The substantive answer to question S5W-08896 'To ask the Scottish Government by what date the £180 million farm payment system will be operational and fully functioning' is as follows: