by Pamela Cook
Enforcing prompt payment of suppliers
Late payments to smaller businesses in the Government supply chain are an ongoing significant issue and can prove a deterrent from SMEs engaging in this process. Therefore, it is encouraging to see the recent announcement of the new prompt payment initiative to ensure all Government suppliers and
subcontractors benefit from being paid on time. Coming into force in Autumn 2019, companies who cannot demonstrate prompt payment to their suppliers could be prevented from winning government contracts.
I am proud to be part of the Small Business Panel which has been working towards improving this for some time and it will better support the small business community that is the lifeblood of our country.
Once the prompt payment initiative comes into play, it will be down to procurement decision makers to ensure that Government contractors are held to the eligibility criteria.
Updates to the supplier complaints service
Hand in hand with the recent announcement around prompt payments, comes the rebrand of the Government’s free and anonymous supplier complaints service. Formerly called Mystery Shopper, it has been renamed the Public Procurement Review Service and the aim is to help suppliers raise complaints and concerns about procurements they’re involved in or about the conduct of contracting authorities.
It is essential that SME’s have an outlet to share concerns and frustrations and ensure their voices are heard. Since 2011, the service has helped speed up payment of over £5.2m stemming from Government contracts. But as we know, late payments are still an issue. Hopefully the rebrand will increase the awareness of this service and encourage even more suppliers to benefit from it.