New figures revealed today show how £613 million worth of government invoices are not paid within 30 days, despite all government departments having signed up to the Better Payment Practice Code.
Written Parliamentary Answers to Michael Fabricant, Shadow Minister for Industry and Technology, show that the DTI and Treasury are among the worst offenders, despite initiatives promoting better payment practices in business.
Michael Fabricant says: "Britain’s businesses are suffering – and some are going bust – because of non and late payment of bills. Not by rogue traders, but by Government Departments. Cash flow is the life blood of all companies and Tony Blair knows it. That’s why Blair promised that Government departments and public agencies will ‘pay their bills within 30 days’, but this was all talk. Gordon Brown’s Treasury and the DTI don’t even have a clue as to how many bills remain unpaid by them after 90 days. The variation between departments is staggering. So much for joined up Government."
Figures from the Treasury and the DTI show that the target was missed by 19 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively.
The answers to the parliamentary questions reveal wide discrepancies in the ability of departments to meet the Government’s unilateral target. The ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ include:-
o Department of Culture, Media & Sport top performing department – shortest length paid, nearly all paid within 30 days
o Crown Prosecution Service worst performing department – 7 per cent outstanding after 90 days
o Home Office misses 100 per cent target: only 78 per cent of invoices paid on time. Other bad departments include the Treasury & DTI
|Department||Average Length of Time (Days)||% Paid in 30 days||% Unpaid after 90 Days||Total Invoice Cost||Cost of 30 days||Cost of 90 Days||Source (All Hansard)|
|HM Treasury||not known||81.00%||not known||83||15.77||n/a||1 Dec 2004 : Col 127W|
|Trade and Industry||27||89.60%||not known||292.5||30.42||n/a||6 Dec 2004 : Col 292W|
|Wales||not known||88.00%||not known||1.5||0.18||n/a||8 Dec 2004 : Col 547W|
|Foreign Office||not known||98.00%||0.17%||593.9||11.88||1.01||8 Dec 2004 : Col 603W|
|Health||not known||93.30%||0.14%||184.5||12.39||0.26||7 Dec 2004 : Col 505W|
|Culture, Media and Sport||10.2||100.00%||0.03%||22.9||0||0.01||9 Dec 2004 : Col 669W|
|Constitutional Affairs||15||91.50%||0.84%||460.1||39.11||3.87||10 Jan 2005 : Col 119W|
|Transport||16.5||98.30%||0.24%||370.8||6.41||0.89||21 Dec 2004 : Col 1652W|
|Home||not known||78.50%||2.70%||2130.1||458.82||57.51||10 Jan 2005 : Col 312W|
|Treasury Solicitor’s Dept||not known||92.60%||0.61%||11.5||0.85||0.07||10 Jan 2005 : Col 3W|
|Crown Prosecution Service||28||80.00%||7.00%||119.3||23.86||8.35||10 Jan 2005 : Col 3W|
|Serious Fraud Office||not known||92.30%||not known||8.1||0.62||n/a||10 Jan 2005 : Col 3W|
|Education and Skills||15||95.40%||not known||89.4||4.11||n/a||21 Dec 2004 : Col 1702W|
|Work and Pensions||18||96.00%||1.00%||107.4||4.3||1.07||20 Dec 2004 : Col 1443W|
|International Development||13||96.30%||0.28%||129.1||4.83||0.36||20 Dec 2004 : Col 1337W|