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GOVERNMENT'S BILL PAYMENT PERFORMANCE PUBLISHED

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Government departments' bill payment records for 1995/96 have been published. This is the last time figures will be...
Government departments' bill payment records for 1995/96 have been published. This is the last time figures will be published using a variety of methods of collating and monitoring this information. Figures fulfilling the prime minister's pledge for annual 'leagues tables' on the same basis across Whitehall - and meeting tough new targets - will be published from this autumn.

In a written answer to a parliamentary question President of the Board of Trade Ian Lang said:

'Government departments and their agencies are required to monitor their payment performance and to publish the results in their departmental or annual reports. The following table lists, by department, the proportion of bills paid within 30 days, or other agreed credit period, of receipt of a valid invoice for financial year 1995/96.

'The figures in the tables have been calculated using different monitoring methods and concerns have been expressed that these differences have made comparisons between Departments difficult.

'The prime minister therefore announced on 11 March this year, that more consistent monitoring requirements were to be placed on departments and that they were to publish their performance against strict targets in an annual league table. This would allow more valid comparison between departments in addition to the year on year comparisons possible under the previous monitoring system.

'The new monitoring requirements have been in place since 1 June 1996 and the first league table of performance based on these requirements will be published in the autumn. It is currently the intention to publish the information annually thereafter, following the end of each financial year. All departments should aim to pay 100% of invoices, including disputed invoices once the dispute has been settled, on time. No department should fall below 95% for undisputed bills.

'The results for 1995/96 based on the previous monitoring procedures are:

DEPARTMENTAL PAYMENT PERFORMANCE 1995/96

Department Percentage of invoices paid on time

Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Food 83%

Registry of Friendly Societies

96%

Charity Commission 88.8%

HM Customs & Excise

94%

Cabinet Office 84%

Central Statistical Office 88%

Crown Prosecution Service 94.3% Ministry of Defence 99.9%

Department for Education

75.2% Employment Department

97.1%

Employment Service 98.5%

Office of Electricity Regulation

99.66%

Office for Standards in Education

96.3%

Department of the Environment (incl. Office of Water Services)

92%

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre 90%

Ordnance Survey

91%

PSA Services

100%

Health & Safety Executive 93.8%

Office of Fair Trading 96%

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

93.5%

Forestry Commission 86%

Office of Gas Supply 99.8% Department of Health 95.2%

Home Office 91%

Inland Revenue 92.3%

National Investment & Loans Office 100%

Office of the National Lottery

89% Lord Chancellors Department/The Court Service

93.9% Department of National Heritage 91%

Department for National Savings 99.2% Northern Ireland Office 96.6% Overseas Development Administration 90% HM Paymaster General 84.6% Office of Passenger Rail Franchising 97.4% Office of the Rail Regulator 98.7% Serious Fraud Office 92% Office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools (Wales) 98.5%

The Scottish Office 94% Department of Social Security 96% Office of Telecommunications 94% Department of Trade & Industry 93% Department of Transport 90.3% HM Treasury 86% The Welsh Office 95%

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