§ Mr. Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will publish a table in theOfficial Report showing (a) the amount due to the Property Services Agency from United States forces in respect of works expenditure at the end of each financial year, to date, since 1983, (b) the amount paid in each year and (c) the average delay in each year between the final submission of the account from the Property Services Agency and payment by United States forces;
(2) what has been (a) the total cost and (b) the annual cost since 1983 to public funds of pre-funding the Property Services Agency works expenditure for United States forces.
§ Mr. Chope
The table requested is as follows :
£ million Financial Year Arrears Brought Forward Claimable Expenditure in Year Receipts Received in Year 1983–84 21.0 95.2 93.7 1984–85 22.5 103.4 98.6 1985–86 27.3 117.2 115.2 1986–87 29.3 142.2 143.6 1987–88 27.9 1 1 1 Not yet available.
The Property Services Agency does not keep information on delays or the annual cost to public funds of pre-funding works expenditure for United States forces in the form requested and this could not be obtained without disproportionate expense. However, checks undertaken earlier this year indicate that the USAF pays almost 70 per cent. of the bills raised within two weeks and about 95 per cent. within four weeks. Checks undertaken in previous years were on a different basis but confirm that a substantial improvement has taken place.
§ Mr. Chope
The rapid payment system is being refined for all of PSA's work for the USAF. Consideration is being given to extending the system initially to selected United States navy establishments in the light of experience with the USAF. The possible extension to other United States navy and United States army establishments will also be considered.
§ Mr. Chope
Twenty-four PSA accounts staff at Hastings deal with repayment claims for the United States forces: about 50 per cent. of their time is spent on the rapid payment system (RPS). Other PSA staff in the nine 417W dedicated USAF district works offices and elsewhere in the agency deal with RPS together with a wide range of other duties, and the resource effort devoted to RPS cannot readily be identified separately.