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Departmental Procurement

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department 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. (278820)

The Home Department has invested significantly in its people, with the creation of a professional Shared Service Centre and Procurement Centre of Excellence complemented by the creation of new processes and easy to use payment system.

A firm focus has been applied by the Procurement Centre of Excellence in the area of prompt payment. This focus has resulted in the Department exceeding the 90 per cent. target on three occasions in the fiscal year 2008-09 and able to meet the Prime Minister’s target of paying all small, medium enterprises within 10 days, announced in October 2008.

The Department has been working closely with colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) reporting on both our legislative obligations of 30 days as well as the 10 day PM’s commitment for SMEs for correctly presented compliant invoices.

The Department’s (Home Office HQ and UKBA) performance of paying compliant invoices since the PM’s announcement within 10 days is shown in the following table. The information shown for the Criminal Records Bureau and Identity and Passport Service are for all invoices received and paid as separate figures for SMEs are not retained:

All invoices

HO Headquarters and UKBA

CRB

IPS

Month

SMEs, compliant invoices paid within 10 days

SMEs, percentage of invoices paid within 10 days

Number paid within 10 days

Percentage paid within 10 days

Number paid within 10 days

Percentage paid within 10 days

January 2009

856

100

50

45

1,119

39

February 2009

1,001

100

79

41

1,111

37

March 2009

1,081

99.99

61

26

1,913

51

Until October 2008 the Home Department and its Executive Agencies were required to monitor and publish payment performance against a 30 day payment target.

The first full month of formal recording against the 10 day target was November 2008 and therefore information about payment performance within 10 days is not available prior to this date.