Court of Auditors Report Basic Payment Scheme for farmers- operationally on track, but limited impact on simplification, targeting and the convergence of aid levels
1. The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has published a Special Report that sets out the results of an audit that examined whether the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) has been implemented effectively in Member States.
2. In preparing this Special Report, the ECA made visits to six Member States – UK (England and Scotland), Germany (Niedersachsen), Greece, Spain, France and Italy. Eighteen Member States received questionnaires and four hundred individual payments to farmers in 2015 were audited.
3. The objective of these audits was to determine whether the new BPS requirements were correctly implemented by Member States and the European Commission in 2015. The audit took place between September 2016 and April 2017.
4. The auditors note that all of the Member States visited had experienced challenges in implementing the new scheme. Differences in the approach to implementation meant that these challenges varied from country to country. Most were able to overcome the challenges, but the UK (Scotland), Austria, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden had failed to make all 2015 payments to farmers by the legal deadline of 30 June 2016. It had consequently been necessary for a derogation to be granted from