THE troubled Rural Payments Agency, renowned for its bureaucratic incompetence, has been given a new boss: former businessman turned quangocrat Mark Grimshaw, who made his name as a trouble shooter by sorting out another bureaucracy plagued quango, the Child Support Agency.
The RPA, set up New Labour under Margaret Beckett, is responsible for distributing millions of pounds or EU farm subsidies in England and was often two and sometimes three years late in paying up.
This forced thousands of farmers to the edge of bankruptcy and caused the EU to impose hundreds of millions of euros in fines on the Government.
Mark Grimshaw, who rose to the top in the car industry and the international comunications company Cable and Wireless, was recruited to sort out the Child Support Agency, which had a similar reputation for organisational chaos, demanding cash from separated fathers who had already paid but missing tens of thousands who ducked their responsibilities.
Announcing the new appointment yesterday (Dec 14), Farm Minister Jim Paice commented:
“I am delighted to appoint Mark Grimshaw as the new Chief Executive of RPA and look forward to working with him on delivering the improvements that are needed. We deliberately took the time to find and recruit the right person to drive the RPA forward and deliver the change I know its customers want. “