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Departmental Procurement

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice 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. (226492)

The proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from all businesses paid within 30 days of receipt in 2007-08 is as follows:



Ministry of Justice Core Department1



Executive agencies of the Ministry of Justice2


1 Ministry of Justice Core Department includes former Department for Constitutional Affairs HQ, Wales Office, Scotland Office, Office for Criminal Justice Reform and National Offender Management Service HQ elements. 2 Executive agencies for the Ministry of Justice include HM Courts Service, Tribunals Service, Office of the Public Guardian and HM Prison Service.

The Ministry has launched a major drive to improve this performance towards the target of paying 100 per cent. of correctly rendered invoices within 30 days. Two of the main actions are to enforce compliance with purchasing processes within the Ministry, and to reinforce the policy with suppliers that they are required to send their invoices directly to the Shared Service Centre which processes payments centrally, rather than to individual offices around the Ministry.

The proportion of invoices paid within 30 days of receipt for small and medium sized businesses could be provided only at a disproportionate cost, as the Department does not currently hold this information.

The Ministry welcomes the initiative announced by the Prime Minister in Prime Minister's Questions on 8 October 2008, and is preparing plans to pay all small and medium-sized enterprises within 10 days of receipt of invoice.