State contractors win 5-day payment pledge

The government’s primary IT contractors must pay individuals and small companies supplying them with services within 30 days if they wish to keep trading with the state.

Unveiling a package of enterprise-friendly measures, the government said all government contractors were required to pay their suppliers within the month or risk losing their contracts.

The 30-day deadline to pay subcontractors appears achievable, given that 80% of prime contractors will be paid within 5 working days, the government reaffirmed in the package.

From next month, a new standardised Pre-Qualification Questionnaire, developed with industry input, will also be introduced across central government for all firms wanting contracts.

Similarly by December, the government will have been told how to speed up the procurement process thanks to an industry-backed report, entitled ‘Lean Study.’

Meanwhile, for the state's prime construction contractors, a commitment to pay within 30 days has been made a contractual requirement and applies through the supply chain.

Elsewhere, the government pledged to improve access to finance for small firms, including by extending the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), and said that, for the first time, it would allow social tenants to start-up their own business at home.

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