Government will name contractors who fail to pay specialists within 30 days

The government has promised to name and shame main contractors who fail to pay their specialists within 30 days on public sector projects. The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, made the announcement at an event in London yesterday.

Maude said: “Prompt payment is crucial to smaller companies. The government has an excellent record on paying our bills quickly and we expect our suppliers to do the same and pay sub-contractors well within the 30 day limit.

“When work has been done, especially by an SME, it is just inexcusable not to pay up quickly for that service.

“We will be keeping a close eye on how the big suppliers choose to pay their sub-contractors and we won’t shy away from naming and shaming those that we find have failed to pay promptly.”

The minister also set out measures for monitoring prompt payment, including:

  • SMEs will be encouraged to use the ’Mystery Shopper’ service to report to government instances where payment is slipping.
  • Departments will monitor prime contractors performance as part of their contract management processes.
  • The Crown Representatives team, who coordinate the government’s approach to the management of key suppliers across all departments, will strongly encourage prime contractors to pay more quickly than 30 days.

Since coming into power the coalition government has been keen to promote more SME involvement in the procurement process on public sector projects.

Earlier this year the pre-qualification questionnaire process for low value tenders was abolished and a new contracts finder website was setup.