The Chief Executive of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). Tony Coooper, is due to leave his post at the end of this month.
Mr Cooper joined the agency as Interim Cheif Exec in May 2006 and was confirmed in the position in June 2001. He has announced that he will take early retirement for personal reasons. His announcement has come as Defra prepares to publish the findings of a major review into the agency's handling of the Single Payment Scheme in England.
Mr Cooper said he was 'proud' with the agency's 'sginificant achievements' during his four years in charge. He was the architect of the agency'e 'e-channel' SPS applications with over 16,000 applications received online to SPS2010.
Since 2006 the RPA has reduced its costs by 22% with staff numbers reduced from 4500 in 2006 to 3000 in 2010.