Publication - FOI/EIR release

SGRPID payments and complaints procedure: EIR release

Published: 9 Sep 2019

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Published:
9 Sep 2019
SGRPID payments and complaints procedure: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/01903
Date received: 30 Jul 2019
Date responded: 30 Aug 2019
Information requested

1. Full reasoning as to why after three years the 2016 claim has still not been paid and why even at this late stage a payment date cannot be provided.

2. Full details of all available complaints procedures, including any provided by the EU, SGRIPD, RPA or the Scottish Government.

3. Copies of all correspondence, internal and external, file notes and other documents held by SGRI PD in relation to my 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 claims. This information is also requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

4. Your proposals for compensation in relation to the unreasonable delay and our resulting costs and losses. As it appears clear that SGRIPD are not competent to deal with claims which were previously handled by the Rural Payments Agency we also suggest that our claims are no longer treated as cross border.

5. Please also clarify the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction in this matter. If you do not personally hold managerial responsibility for this matter you should provide contact details of any persons who have that responsibility including the identity and contact details of your own line manager.

Response

As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

Our response is laid out in relation to the points as they were raised in your original letter.

1. A complaint along with a copy of your letter to Simon Moore was sent to the Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, you should have already received a response in relation to this point via the Ministerial & Corporate Correspondence System (MACCS), Reference 2019/0023222. For information, I have enclosed a further copy of that response along with this.

2. Raising a complaint, I have noted the procedure below to be followed in respect of SGRPID.

Most of the information you have requested is available as indicated below:

If you still wish to raise a formal complaint, then you can find out information about this procedure on our Rural Payment and Services site. I have stated the website details below for information. If you enter these details into your nominated search engine you will be taken directly to the complaints page:
https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/all-schemes/basic-payment-scheme/basic-payment-scheme-full-guidance/complaints---bps/

We understand and appreciate from time to time things can go wrong or you are dissatisfied with our service. For the Scottish Government, I have stated the website details below for information. If you enter these details into your nominated search engine you will be taken directly to the complaints page: https://www.gov.scot/about/contact-information/make-a-complaint/

Alternatively, you can write to Scottish Government, Complaints, 1E.10, St Andrew's House, Edinburgh, EH1 3DG.

Rural Payments Agency (RPA), I have stated the website details below for information. If you enter these details into your nominated search engine you will be taken directly to the complaints page: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/rural-payments-agency/about/complaints-procedure

European Union (EU), I have stated the website details below for information. If you enter these details into your nominated search engine you will be taken directly to the complaints page: https://ec.europa.eu/info/about-european-commission/contact/problems-and-complaints/complaints-about-breaches-eu-law/how-make-complaint-eu-level_en#submitting-a-complaint-online

3. For the correspondence, internal and external, file notes and other documents held by SGRPID. The information you requested cannot be released under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), this needs to be done via a Subject Access Request (SAR). To assist you we are currently speaking to the Data Protection and Information Asset Team to determine if your original request is sufficient to take a Subject Access Request forward.

4. With regard to proposals for compensation in relation to the unreasonable delay and your resulting costs and losses. As it appears clear that SGRIPD are not competent to deal with claims which were previously handled by the Rural Payments Agency we also suggest that our claims are no longer treated as cross border.

This was not addressed in the MACCS response, as it confirmed that payments were indeed made.

5. SGRPID have provided information via the response from Angela Brough regarding your payments which shows that we have paid you in full. You have the right to submit a formal appeal to us where we have reduced your payments, if not satisfied by our response to your appeal then you could ultimately submit an appeal to the Scottish Land Court.

Finally, if you would like the opportunity to discuss any aspects of your payments face to face, we are happy for you or any representative to visit our Elgin Office and we would be happy to provide a full breakdown of each payment including the areas they were paid on.

About FOI
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG