About Time Too!!
As a bid writer and business owner, it’s always good to hear about positive steps being taken by the public sector to improve the procurement process, and one such change has just been announced.
The email distributed by Crown Commercial Services this morning states that:
“From 1 September 2019, any organisation that bids for a central government contract in excess of £5 million per annum will need to answer questions about its supply chain management and payment tracking systems. This will include details about payment practices, processes and performance including the percentage of invoices paid within 60 days.
Suppliers who are unable to demonstrate that they have effective systems in place and can ensure a fair and responsible approach to payment of their supply chain may be excluded from bidding. If you already publish data in accordance with the Reporting on Payment Practices and Performance Regulations, you can simply submit this report as part of your bid.”
Whilst this will come as no consolation to ex-employees and subcontractors of companies such as Connaught, Rok and more recently Carillion, the move should be seen as a first step in ensuring that contracts awarded by the government (and hopefully the wider public sector to follow) create a positive and lasting legacy for SME’s and the wider community.
Having worked for multi-nationals for much of my working life, I have seen from both sides the great imbalance between the buying power of large organisations and the ability to enforce payment terms upon them by smaller suppliers of goods and services. The move announced today may well be a small initial step but if this sees a wider shift in terms of procurement processes from local authorities, housing associations and other public bodies, then it will be a welcome one indeed.