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Departmental Billing

Volume 494: debated on Monday 22 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what proportion of invoices his Department and its agencies paid within 10 days of receipt in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (278829)

The following table shows the number and proportion of invoices paid by the Northern Ireland Office, including the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland, and its agencies within 10 days of receipt in each of the last 12 months.

NIO1NIPS2Comp. Agency3FSNI4,6YJA5,7

Invoices

%

Invoices

%

Invoices

%

Invoices

%

Invoices

%

2008

June

291

5.4

626

33.8

32

74.4

July

874

15.3

486

24.4

20

58.8

August

1,981

66.9

759

38.8

29

70.7

September

1,523

45.7

757

36.3

22

56.4

October

2,002

48.0

913

37.5

29

72.5

November

2,542

58.7

896

39.1

21

75.0

86

36.6

December8

2,692

82.5

1,448

80.7

30

85.7

166

46.5

679

93.7

2009

January

3,122

79.0

2,688

76.2

25

92.6

141

57.6

593

76.3

February

3,231

82.6

1,749

85.4

27

100

219

80.2

524

77.6

March

3,611

82.2

2,141

85.8

33

100

254

76.7

759

79.7

April

3,026

83.3

1,109

72.2

31

100

185

69.6

505

65.2

May

3,074

91.6

1,770

89.3

23

95.8

136

69.2

427

80.9

1 Northern Ireland Office including the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland. 2 Northern Ireland Prison Service. 3 Compensation Agency. 4 Forensic Science Northern Ireland. 5 Youth Justice Agency. 6 Figures for invoices paid within 10 days of receipt in each of the last 12 months for Forensic Science Northern Ireland are only available from November 2008. 7Figures for invoices paid within 10 days of receipt in each of the last 12 months for Youth Justice Agency are only available from December 2008. 8 The Northern Ireland Office and it agencies revised procedures for the processing and payment of invoices following guidance issued by the Cabinet Office on 17 November 2008 relating to a target to pay invoices within 10 days with effect from 1 December 2008. Prior to December 2008 the Northern Ireland Office and its agencies sought to comply with the “The Better Payments Practice Code” for achieving good payment performance in commercial transactions. Under this Code, the policy was to pay bills in accordance with contractual conditions or, where no such conditions exist, within 30 days of receipt of goods and services or the presentation of a valid invoice, whichever is the later.