Prompt payment working group needs to deliver, says ECA
The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) group CEO, Steve Bratt, has welcomed plans by The Department for Business, Innovations and Skills (BIS) to set up a prompt payment working group , but has called for the government to improve timely payment across all public sector contracts.Bratt acknowledged, ‘The government’s guidance for SMEs to protect themselves against late payment is useful but trade associations are already providing this information to members. We need decisive, practical action, rather than just advice.
‘In March 2010, the previous government introduced a requirement for central government, and non-departmental public bodies and agencies, to include a contract condition requiring its contractors to pay their subcontractors within 30 days. At the same time, other public bodies were encouraged to introduce the same conditions. However, the public sector as a whole has not always adopted the same responsible approach and government needs to bring them into line,’ he said.
‘It is imperative that this requirement is extended right across the public sector, to ensure that contractors have the same rights irrespective of whether they are the main contractor or subcontractor working for a local authority or central government body. Smaller firms simply don’t have the luxury of being able to wait and are struggling to survive because of late payment practices in the supply chain,’ concluded Bratt.