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Departmental Procurement

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized businesses were paid within 10 days of receipt by his Department in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. (243493)

I would direct the hon. Member to the departmental published accounts for 2006-07 and 2007-08 which set out the performance of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) in this regard. The Department paid 97.7 per cent. of all valid invoices for goods and services within 30 days in 2006-07 and 98.8 per cent. in 2007-08.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families welcomed the 8 October 2008 statement by the Prime Minister on moving to the payment of invoices within 10 days. The Department is working towards this goal.

DCSF does not currently publish information about the size of its suppliers. We do not discriminate by size of business because many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can be found within larger supply chains. Alongside speeding up Government payments we are also looking to our main contractors to pass on the benefits to smaller suppliers in their supply chains.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families was created on 28 June 2007 as a result of a Machinery of Government change. The data included in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 accounts also include that of its predecessor Department, the Department for Education and Skills. The Department does not have any Executive agencies.