Watchdog attacks 'cumbersome' Whitehall IT systems

The £350m systems used by the Rural Payments Agency are too complex and 'soak up large amounts of money', according to the Public Accounts Committee

The IT systems at the heart of a £1.6bn EU subsidy scheme for English farmers are "cumbersome, overly complex and continue to soak up large amounts of money", according to a Whitehall watchdog.

The systems, known as Rita and Oregon, are used by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to administer the Single Payment Scheme (SPS), which distributes subsidies to farmers.

In a report published on Wednesday, parliamentary spending watchdog the Public Accounts Committee said much of the software and hardware used in the systems is no longer covered by technical support, which "increases the risk of system failure".

For more on this story, see 'Cumbersome, complex, potentially obsolete': The £350m Whitehall IT systems on silicon.com.

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