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Departmental Procurement

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized businesses were paid within 10 days of receipt by (a) his Department and (b) the agencies for which his Department is responsible in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. (243360)

Until October 2008 the Department for Work and Pensions was required to monitor and publish payment performance against a 30-day payment target and does not therefore currently publish information about payment within 10 days. However, following the PM's commitment of 8 October that central Government Departments will make payment within 10 days, we will additionally report 10-day payment performance from the period January to March 2009.

The Department for Work and Pensions does not currently publish information about size of suppliers. We do not discriminate by size because many SMEs can be found within larger supply chains.

The Department for Work and Pensions welcomes the statement by the Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions on 8 October 2008 and the Department has made changes to its payment process in order to meet this commitment as soon as possible.