§ Mr. Richards
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he intends to take to encourage or require local authorities to pay their bills on time; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. David Hunt
The prompt payment of bills by local authorities is a matter for them and I have no power to intervene. However, the Government expect the public sector generally to follow best practice and to pay its bills within the agreed credit period or, where no such period has been agreed, 30 days. The payment performance of Government Departments is regularly monitored and Government contracts now include a requirement for sub-contractors to be paid promptly.327W