Welsh Farmers Amongst First in Europe to be Paid

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Capgemini helps Welsh Assembly Government to achieve on-time and to-budget delivery of the new Single Payment scheme, through close partnership working, an interative approach to IT development and solid program management.

“I am delighted that the critical target dates have been met and the program has been delivered within budget. This success reflects the hard work by Welsh Assembly staff and Capgemini over the past two years to implement the many complex changes required as part of the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.”

Sue Armitage, Welsh Assembly Government

The Situation

In 2003, Farm Ministers at the EU (European Union) agreed a fundamental reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It was designed to completely change the way the EU supported its farm sector by removing the link between subsidies and production thus enabling farmers to produce what the market wanted.

The UK Government decided to be one of the first countries in Europe to implement these changes and introduce the new single payment for the 2005 scheme year.

The Solution

The CAP Reform program combined 10 inter-linked projects to deliver new business functions and processes, a technology refresh and significant new IT functionality. The approach was to:

  • agree clear program outcomes at the start which included making payments from 1 December 2005, meeting EU requirements and delivering within budget
  • plan back-to-front to determine what must be done to deliver the outcomes
  • be pragmatic and accept that it was not possible to specify all requirements up front, and a more iterative approach to implementation was needed
  • put in place robust program management within the Assembly and Capgemini to ensure delivery with an agreed change control process.  

The Result

More than 99% of Welsh farmers received their money by the European commission deadline of 30th June 2006.  This was more than 98% of the budget for Welsh farmers, exceeding the European commission requirement to pay 96.14% of the budget by 30th June.

Carwyn Jones, Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside stated: “We have, once again, delivered on our promise to make prompt payments to farmers.  This success has been facilitated by a good working relationship between the policy development, operational and customer service delivery, IT and finance staff within the Welsh Assembly Government and with its IT consultants, Capgemini, and its stakeholders, in particular the farming unions in Wales.”

The Welsh Assembly Government has shown leadership in the decision-making process to ensure payments totaling £205m were paid to more than 17,000 applicants between 1 December and 30th June, including £110 million to about 75% of Welsh farmers on the first possible day, which made them amongst the first in Europe to receive the new payment. 

The approach adopted for the delivery of this program is being held up and championed by the Welsh Assembly Government as an exemplar for the 10-year MERLIN partnership with an alliance of SBS, PA Consulting and Capgemini. It shows how collaborative working and a “Build to Budget” approach can succeed within the Welsh Assembly Government and the wider Public Sector.


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