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Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small- and medium-sized businesses were paid within 30 days of receipt by (a) his Department and (b) the agencies for which his Department is responsible in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Unless otherwise negotiated as part of contract agreement(s), DEFRA's standard terms of payment for all suppliers are the payment of valid and agreed invoices within 30 days of date of receipt. From information held centrally, and the core Department's financial system, prompt payment performance for the financial year 2007-08 for the core Department and those executive agencies for which information is held is as follows:
|Percentage paid within terms|
Information on the proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized business paid within 30 days of receipt could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information on the Rural Payments Agency prompt payment performance is being compiled and I will place this in the Library of the House when available.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many civil servants in his Department were recruited through the fast stream; and what the average salary of those officials is. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) of 1 September 2008, Official Report, column 1487W, on domestic wastes: contracts, when copies of projects WR0103 and WR0104 will be placed in the Library; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 1 September 2008, Official Report, column 1487W, on domestic waste: waste disposal, if he will place in the Library a copy of his Departments Review of Environmental and Health Effects of Waste Management; 
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what studies his Department has commissioned into the suitability of the Co-operative Wholesale Society's Stoughton Farm Estate in Harborough for horticulture as part of its work on eco-towns. 
Huw Irranca-Davies [holding answer 17 November 2008]: Neither this Department nor its agencies (Natural England and the Environment Agency) have carried out an assessment of the suitability of the Co-operative Wholesale Society's Stoughton Farm Estate for horticulture as part of its work on eco-towns.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to his Departments press release of 16 September 2008, on local environment quality surveys; if he will place in the Library an electronic version of the datasets for all the 175 local authorities in an Excel format. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: Monitoring and protection and surveillance of marine fisheries is undertaken at sea, on the land and in the air. Since 1 October 2005, the responsibility in England and Wales has been undertaken by the Marine and Fisheries Agency, an Executive agency of DEFRA.
In particular, fisheries protection at sea is undertaken by the Royal Navy Fisheries Protection Squadron on behalf of the MFA. The cost to the MFA of providing that service in 2007-08 was £6.1 million. Information on the costs incurred in 1997 are not readily available.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions his Department has made to Ofwat with respect to the future pricing review on (a) sewage flooding, (b) preventing flooding from storm water drains and (c) other matters. 
Jane Kennedy: DEFRA has issued statutory Social and Environmental Guidance to Ofwat. This provides Ofwat with a steer on the key environmental and social policies that the Government expects it to contribute to in carrying out its role as the independent economic regulator of the water industry. It includes guidance on flooding and resilience. A copy is available on the DEFRA website.
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