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Departmental Billing

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the average length of time taken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to pay invoices from (i) small and medium-sized enterprises and (ii) all creditors in the last 12 months. (315130)

The Ministry of Defence, its agencies and trading funds are fully committed to achieving the Government target of paying 90 per cent. of invoices within 10 days, and is a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code.

Since March 2009, we have consistently exceeded the target, and the latest figures show that 98.74 per cent. of invoices submitted by all suppliers were paid within 10 days of receipt. But we are not complacent and continue to seek improvements in our bill-paying performance to ensure that all our suppliers are paid promptly.

We have made no separate assessment of the time taken to pay small and medium-sized enterprises.