Public Sector: Billing

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 16th July 2012.

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Photo of Gordon Banks Gordon Banks Labour, Ochil and South Perthshire

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what systems are in place to ensure that main contractors for public sector contracts pay their subcontractors within 30 days in line with the Government’s prompt payment code; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Francis Maude Francis Maude The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

holding answer 13 July 2012

There is a requirement in central Government contract terms for contractors to pay their subcontractors within 30 days in line with the Government’s prompt payment code.

We urge subcontractors to use the ‘Mystery Shopper’ service, anonymously if necessary, to report to Government instances where this is not happening; and we regularly publish investigated cases on the Cabinet Office website.

We are also making increasing use of project bank accounts, which ensure that subcontractors down to at least tier 3 are paid directly and promptly.

I stressed the importance of this policy to the chief executive officers of some of the most significant suppliers at a meeting on 28 June, and the Government is collecting evidence to ensure this is happening.

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