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Departmental Contracts

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many small and medium-sized firms are contracted to her Department; and how long on average her Department has taken to settle their invoices in the six months to 30 November 2009. (308097)

As part of our Commercial Strategy, DWP tracks the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) the Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies does business with in each financial year and the amount it spends with each supplier. In 2008-09 the number of SMEs that had contracts with the Department was 9,212 and the total expenditure with them was £429.7 million or 11.2 per cent. of total DWP procurement expenditure in the year. The latest available figures for 2009-10 are 4,902 SME firms and spend with them of £321 million or 12 per cent. of total procurement expenditure in the period April to end November 2009.

DWP signed the Prompt Payment Code in March 2009 and is meeting its target to pay 90 per cent. of all correct invoices within 10 days, figures for November 2009 were 97 per cent.. DWP does not isolate invoice settlement times for SME invoices and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.