Check, check and check again - activation of land in BPS online

NFU action

This issue has been raised with the RPA by a number of organisations. An IT fix has been requested, as well as a warning for claimants. Furthermore, a request for tolerance has been made for those who have completed the claim to this point, especially as many applicants will not check all parts of the system when fields are clearly entered for activation elsewhere.

Aerial view of Cotswolds farm_16006

We’ve received reports that the BPS online 2017 application system is in some situations defaulting, apparently randomly, to select fields and not activate them.

If not activated, field areas would not able to be used for entitlements and therefore a lower payment would ensue.

As the NFU has previously told members, reviewing the claim post-editing, but pre-submission, via a study of the PDF summary version of the application, is a must. 

This should pick up this issue – by comparing the line and total claim data with other farm records a correction can be made before it is too late.

The detail

For those familiar with the online system, the ‘Land Uses’ element within the ‘Land’ section is where land data is updated in the form of new crop coding / temporary crop splits / greening elements etc. for BPS 2017.

The system works on the logic that the resultant eligible land use areas shown in this ‘Land Uses’ section (see below) are the basis that entitlements will be activated against for payment. 

The activation of land that is indicated as eligible in the ‘Land Uses’ section can, however, be amended within the ‘Basic Payment Scheme Application’ section of the online application process under ‘Make changes to your application’, accessed via the ‘Activate less BPS’ option, as per the picture below (there are also options set out here to reduce the greening and common land entries).

The final picture below shows where a farmer would activate a lower area of land than is available for BPS (under the ‘applied for’ column – which if you look at the Land Uses table in Figure 1 above cannot be amended there, other than for the reasons set out above. 

Many do not need to know about this ‘set up’ within the online system, the ‘Land Uses’ area is what is claimed on and is assumed to be what the RPA picks up and uses. 

However concerns have been expressed that activations made via the ‘Activate less BPS’ option are defaulting to zero areas. And that means extra care should be taken when going through the final stages of the work on a claim.

In short, check what is to be submitted is what is intended to be applied for.

If amendments are needed to reinstate incorrectly delated activated areas, this ‘Activate less BPS’ section needs to be used. Make sure any changes are saved before this screen is closed. Take additional screen shots for your records of the ‘Activate less BPS’ section and any corrections made. These could be key alongside the PDF of the claim in case there is a problem.

RPA guidance

The ‘How to Apply Online’ guidance needs to be read carefully and in particularly the ‘Check’, ‘Change’ and ‘Confirm’ sections.  Keeping a carbon copy of the online claim is a must. This is via printing off a copy and also saving it as a PDF. You can do this through the ‘generate’ and ‘download’ functions after a submission has been made.  The file gives data and the time of the actual BPS claim submission. 

Last edited on: 10:04:2017

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