RPA believes in fair but firm regulation. Underlying this policy are the principles of:
Transparency is important in maintaining public confidence in RPA’s ability to regulate. It means helping those regulated and others to understand what is expected of them and what they should expect from RPA. It also means making clear why action is necessary and where applicable, a distinction being made between best practice advice and legal requirements.
The enforcement action taken by RPA will be proportionate to the risks posed to the Community Fund and UK Exchequer and to the seriousness of any breach of the law.
The principles of this Policy will be consistently applied throughout our operation. However, it is recognised that the types of CAP schemes we deal with vary widely in their make-up and types of potential irregularity. Consistency at scheme level therefore means a similar response to similar circumstances within any one scheme.
Sometimes it will be appropriate to target investigations at those individuals who pose the greatest risk to Community and Exchequer funds based on up-to-date intelligence.
Value for money
Both before and at regular intervals during an investigation the cost effectiveness of the enforcement process will be considered. The need to deter and punish will be balanced realistically against the level of resources needed.