To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the occasions on which (a) his Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department failed to pay valid invoices within 30 days or after the agreed credit period in the financial year 2001–02. 
The Defence Bills Agency is a shared service centre for the Ministry of Defence accounts payable and debt management function, paying the bulk (4.5 million per annum) of the Department's bills.
In financial year 2001–02, the agency had a Key Target to pay 99.5 per cent. of correctly presented bills within 11 calendar days, as a response to the overall Government target of 30 days. Actual performance against the target was 99.9 per cent.
Information on the occasions where we failed to pay valid invoices within 30 days or after the agreed credit period could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.