An IT programme set up to deliver financial support to rural businesses still presents significant risks and costs for the Scottish Government, according to Audit Scotland.
The body has reviewed the progress made in resolving serious issues with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Futures programme.
It was created to enable the Scottish Government to provide financial support to farmers and rural businesses across the country.
The Scottish Government oversaw the £178 million IT and business change programme, which closed at the end of March.
Over the last year, significant changes in leadership have been introduced which have brought about a renewed effort to stabilise the programme. However, to date the programme has not delivered value for money or planned benefits for applicants.
The applications process has improved, but Audit Scotland says there are still problems with making payments:
The Scottish Government has used loan schemes to get money to farmers more quickly.
Payment delays for 2016 applications meant loans took longer to recover than planned, which introduced more risk to the wider Scottish budget and put pressure on payment timescales and staff.
The Scottish Government is making changes to improve longer-term strategic thinking and capacity: