Local Government

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 7th September 1999.

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Photo of Keith Harding Keith Harding Conservative

Question S1W-595

To ask the Scottish Executive what action it proposes to take to ensure that local authorities pay their bills from private suppliers and contractors on time.

Photo of Frank McAveety Frank McAveety Labour

Payment arrangements are a matter between local authorities and individual suppliers. However, we encourage local authorities to pay their bills promptly.

The Accounts Commission publishes annual comparative information on local authorities’ performance in making payments within agreed timescales. The Late Payment of Debt (Interest) Act 1998, which gives small businesses the right to claim interest for the late payment of debt from larger companies and public bodies, should also lead local authorities and other agencies to improve their payment practice. Finally, under Best Value, the Scottish Executive is encouraging local authorities to set performance targets for a wide range of services including for the prompt payment of bills.

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