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New Agriculture Minister trapped in IT issues

de     HotNews.ro
Marţi, 16 octombrie 2007, 0:00


A server too small for a huge database, a malfunctioning software, public servants who learned how to run a computer program on short notice and a digital map that has to be fully redone - such are the motives for which a whole farming payment system is hardly working in Romania despite costs of over 5 million euro.

Romania risks losing 100 million euro in farming aid from the European Union because it seems overwhelmed by technology. Employees of the country's Agriculture Payments Agency explained for HotNews.ro why the EU is pointing on the country's system of checks and control in the field of agriculture.

The new Agriculture Minister is supposed to make the malfunctioning system work by November 9 or risk the activation of an EU safeguard clause preventing it from receiving full EU farming aid.

The problems seem just as high as the price paid for it amounting to some 5 million euro.

EC officials argue that if the system does not work, it cannot supervise and control the flow of money from the EU.

A software was created by SIVECO company contains several modules: farmer’s registration, administrative control and field control.

Local representatives argue that the program cannot support large number of users and, as a solution, public servants were supposed to log in one at a time.

Moreover, other problems faced were that public servants were trained on another version of the program. Since the software permits online connections to the whole system, once a part of it faced errors, the whole system needed to be shut down, according to Florin Uifalean of the Agriculture Payment Agency in Cluj, central Romania.

Besides, another IT module - a system identifying plots of agricultural land, is not working properly because farmers across Romania provided false data on their properties. The data have already been introduced in data bases. Because of that, the whole surface of Romania has to be digitized again and maps for 2008 must be redone, according to Payment Agency sources.

Still, Gabriel Lospa, who coordinates the project on behalf of SIVECO company, told HotNews.ro the farming plot identification system was operational and fully integrated with the farming payment system.























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