§ Mrs. May
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the policy of his Department on the timely payment of debts; and what is his Department's record on the payment of debts in the current financial year. 
§ Mr. Straw
All Departments are required to pay their bills within agreed contract terms, or 30 days from receipt of goods or service or a valid invoice where no such terms exist, whichever is the later. Information on payment performance for the current financial year is not immediately available, but I shall write to the hon. Member with the information as soon as possible. The Government will publish a league table of departmental payment performance for 1996–97 in the autumn.