Every year the RPA computer throws up some new glitch that can affect the transferring of entitlements.  This year we have so far come across three different types, as follows:

1.  Entitlements being removed from a farmer’s records in error when not claimed for only one year

We have already had two instances of this happening this year, where the entitlement history is correct on the online records, apart from the entitlements are removed by the computer in error when not claimed upon in 2017. As the rules make clear, farmers only have to claim on all their entitlements once every two years, and therefore someone who the computer shows did claim and was paid in full on all their entitlements in 2016 should have those entitlements available in 2018. When this was queried with our contacts in the RPA we were informed: “..unfortunately we have experienced a system anomaly causing surrenders to generate incorrectly in the first year of non-use, several claims have been affected by this scenario.”  When this has been brought to their attention, the RPA has been able to correct these errors, but farmers who did not claim last year who are considering selling this year would be wise to double check their entitlements are showing as available for 2018 now, in case they need to contact the RPA and get any errors corrected, so the entitlements can be transferred online by the deadline.

2.  Entitlement records not being updated when 2016 payment was made, therefore they are not showing as available for 2018

 We have a case where a claimant was paid in full in 2016 (and this has also been confirmed in writing by the RPA), however for some reason the RPA computer has not updated their records to show the entitlements were activated in 2016, and therefore all their entitlements still show a use by date of 2017 rather than the correct 2018.  This particular claimant is also still waiting for their 2017 BPS claim to be paid (again, no reason has been offered for the delay in processing by the RPA, they are simply “at the back of the queue”). We have been advised by the RPA that until the 2017 claim is processed and the payment is made, the computer cannot “refresh” their entitlement history to correctly show the use by date of 2018 it should be showing now, or the 2019 use by date that will be correct after the 2017 claim is processed. Where claimants have not yet been paid for 2017, although the RPA computer will not transfer the entitlements until they are, it should at least display the use by date of 2018 This enables the transfer application to be submitted, even if it does then go into “pending” subject to the processing of the 2017 claim. The RPA have advised they have no idea why this particular glitch has arisen, and they are unable to do anything other than reassure us that this will be resolved once the 2017 payment has been made, and to recommend that a paper RLE1 transfer form is submitted in the meantime. This of course is not ideal, as RLE1 forms will only be processed long after the deadline.

3.  Transfers in “pending” not automatically pushing through

We had been advised by the RPA that entitlement transfers that were ”pending” would automatically push through once the “block” holding them up is removed, i.e. if a seller’s 2017 BPS claim is finally made, or if a buyer made their online “active farmer” declaration after the transfer application was submitted. However our experience has been that you have to contact the RPA and request that these transfers are manually “pushed through”.