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Government Departments: Payment of Invoices

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): Government departments and their agencies are required to monitor their payment performance and publish the results in their departmental or annual reports. The following table lists, by department, the proportion of bills paid within the agreed credit period, or within 30 days where no credit period has been agreed, for 1994/95.

The Government recognise that late payment is a serious problem, particularly for small businesses. It is essential that the Government set an example of prompt settlement of bills. The Government expect all other public sector bodies to follow their lead. I do not regard my own department's performance as satisfactory and intend to ensure that it improves.

18 Jul 1995 : Column WA19

The full results are:

Ministerial departments Per cent. invoices paid within target
Cabinet Office 82
Central Statistical Office 86
Crown Prosecution Service 81.4
Ministry of Defence 99.99
Department for Education 95
Employment Department/ACAS 96.3
Employment Service 98.3
Department of the Environment 92
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 92
Department of Health 91.9
Health and Safety Executive 90.3
Home Office 92
Lord Chancellor's Department 93.5
Department of National Heritage 91
Department for National Savings 97.3
Northern Ireland Office 94.7
Overseas Development Administration 87
HM Paymaster General 94.3
The Scottish Office 96
Department of Social Security 96
Department of Trade and Industry 84
Department of Transport 93.1
HM Treasury 82
Welsh Office 95

18 Jul 1995 : Column WA20

Non-ministerial departments Per cent. invoices paid within target
Charity Commission 91
Forestry Commission 82
HM Customs and Excise 91.8
Office of Electricity Regulation 99.7
Office of Fair Trading 92
Friendly Societies Commission/Registry of Friendly Societies (including the Building Societies Commission) 96
Office of Gas Supply 98
Inland Revenue 86.3
National Investment and Loans Office 100
Office of the National Lottery 50
Office of Passenger Rail Franchising 93.8
Office of HM Chief Inspector of Schools (Wales) 94
Serious Fraud Office 74
Office for Standards in Education 95
Office of Telecommunications 91
Office of Water Services  
Department of Environment return  

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