30 November 2018

SEC Group applauds crackdown on late payers

The recent announcement by the Cabinet Office of its intention to exclude late payers from government contracts has been applauded by leading construction body the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group.

SEC Group – representing the largest sector of UK construction, by value – said that such a measure was long overdue and urged government to act on it. 

SEC Group chief executive, Professor Rudi Klein, added: “For some years we have been advocating a yellow/red card policy for public sector procurement. In other words, poor payers should be warned about their payment performance and then banned from public sector contracts if their performance doesn’t improve.”

The Reporting of Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017 requires large companies (as of April 2017) to report on their payment practices. This includes providing information about their standard payment terms and the proportion of invoices which are paid late.

Professor Klein hopes that this data will give public sector procurers sufficient evidence on which to base their decisions to exclude poor payers: “Public sector procurers must also up their game to ensure they pay on time. Furthermore, I now would expect the whole of the UK public sector to follow suit and proactively challenge payment abuse.”

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