Consultants in Libya face a near-freeze on payment for infrastructure projects because only one official is signing off bills to foreign companies.

A shake-up designed to stop corruption has caused a bottleneck, said Phil Dowrick of UK Trade & Investment. Speaking at the ACE conference, he said: “Libya is hard, because they haven’t paid any bills for the past six months. Because of attempts to clamp down on corruption one lady now signs off all payments going outside the country.”

Rod MacDonald, chairman of Buro Happold, said Libya was “probably the most unstructured environment you can work in”.

Halcrow and Scott Wilson are understood to be among those affected.