25 January 2010
PASC TO QUIZ DEFRA ON REFUSAL TO PAY COMPENSATION RECOMMENDED BY OMBUDSMAN
The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) will hold a one-off evidence session this week to consider the Government’s response to a report from the Parliamentary Ombudsman on the administration of the Single Payment Scheme by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Rural Payments Agency. The Government has not accepted the Ombudsman’s recommendations in full, in particular her recommendations for financial compensation to farmers who she found had suffered losses because of mistakes in administering the Single Payment Scheme. As a result the Ombudsman has made a special report to Parliament, claiming that injustice has been caused to these farmers which will not now be remedied.
It is unusual for the Government not to accept the Ombudsman’s recommendations. This is only the sixth time that a special report has been issued by the Ombudsman’s office since its creation in 1967.
The session will take place on
Thursday 28 January at
10:00 am in the
Thatcher Room, Portcullis House. PASC will hear in turn from:
- Ann Abraham, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), and Gwen Harrison, Director of Investigations, Office of the PHSO; and
- Dame Helen Ghosh DCB, Permanent Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Tony Cooper, Chief Executive, Rural Payments Agency
One of PASC’s duties is to consider reports from the Ombudsman. As well as holding an annual session with her on the work of her office, it has also held hearings in recent years into her reports on Equitable Life, occupational pensions, and ex gratia payments to British civilians interned by the Japanese during the second world war (‘A Debt of Honour’).
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Committee Membership: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)
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