Contractors applaud crack down on late payers

Moves by the UK Cabinet Office to exclude late payers from government contracts have been applauded by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC Group).

The contractor representative body said that such measures were “long overdue” and urged the government to act upon it.

SEC Group’s CEO Professor Rudi Klein said: “For some years we have been advocating a yellow/red card policy for public sector procurement. In other words poor payers should be warned about their payment performance and then banned from public sector contracts if their performance doesn’t improve.”

The Reporting of Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017 requires large companies (as from April 2017) to report on their payment practices. This includes providing information about their standard payment terms and proportion of invoices which are paid late.

Professor Klein hopes that this data will give public sector procurers sufficient evidence on which to base their decisions to exclude poor payers.

He added: “Public sector procurers must also up their game to ensure they pay on time.  Furthermore I now would expect the whole of the UK public sector to follow suit and proactively challenge payment abuse.”

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