|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Integrated Communication Projects Ltd did not use a standard letter of approach to companies when seeking sponsorship for the events associated to the Edinburgh Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and those held during the period of the British Presidency of the European Union. Initial contacts were tailored to the recipient and the event for which sponsorship was sought.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Integrated Communications Projects Ltd (ICP) initially approached 120 companies in relation to their contract to seek sponsorship of the government-hosted events in 1997-98 and I have placed a list of these companies in the Library of the House. Subsequently, other companies were contacted by ICP as additional opportunities were identified: for example, over 170 companies were approached to sponsor the Technology Exhibition associated with the EU Council of Ministers Meeting in Cardiff, June 1998.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): There has been a further improvement in the payment performance of central Government as a whole. The majority of departments met the previous target of paying 95 per cent. of their suppliers' bills on time.
There is no room for complacency and it is disappointing to see that a number of departments and agencies, including DTI, failed to meet this year's target of 97.5 per cent. I have taken steps to remind all departments and agencies, including DTI, of the importance of paying suppliers' bills on time and meeting the target.
The target for the 1999-2000 financial year has been increased to pay 100 per cent. of undisputed suppliers' bills on time. It is particularly important that the public sector sets an example to business and is seen to pay its bills on time.
We are committed to improving the UK's payment culture. Late payment is a serious problem, particularly for small businesses. Not knowing when customers' bills will be paid means uncertain cashflow, increased borrowings, higher costs and reduced profits.
Government departments and their agencies are required to monitor their payment performance and to publish the results in their departmental or annual reports. The following table lists, by department, the proportion of bills paid within 30 days, or other agreed credit period, of receipt of a valid invoice for financial year 1998-99.
|Main Departments||Paid on Time %|
|Privy Council Office||100|
|National Investment and Loans Office||100|
|Scotland Crown Office||99.9|
|Ministry of Defence||99.8|
|Government Actuary's Department||99.4|
|Office of the National Lottery||99.3|
|Office of Water Services (OFWAT)||99.0|
|HM Land Registry||98.6|
|Office of Electricity Regulation||98.4|
|Registry of Friendly Societies||98.4|
|Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce||98.3|
|Office of Fair Trading||98.0|
|Department of Culture, Media and Sport||97.9|
|Foreign & Commonwealth Office||97.7|
|Building Societies Commission||97.5|
|HM Customs & Excise||97.5|
|Office of Telecommunications||97.3|
|Department for Education & Employment||97.2|
|Public Records Office||97.1|
|Lord Chancellor's Dept. (inc. Public Trust Office)||96.7|
|Department for National Savings||96.7|
|Department of Trade & Industry||96.3|
|Office of the Rail Regulator||96.3|
|Department for International Development||96.3|
|Treasury Solicitors Department||96.2|
|Northern Ireland Office||96.1|
|Crown Prosecution Service||96.0|
|Office for National Statistics||95.6|
|Serious Fraud Office||95.4|
|Office of Passenger Rail Franchising||95.0|
|Office of Gas Supply||94.9|
|Export Credits Guarantee Department||94.4|
|Health & Safety Executive**||94.1|
|Department of Health||94.0|
|Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food||93.3|
|Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions||93.1|
|Department of Social Security||91.7|
*Insolvency Service and Radiocommunications Agency are Executive Agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry.
**Health & Safety Executive is an Executive Agency of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions.