Late payments- Are governments leading by example?
All this talk in the press about Government being urged to intervene on behalf of small businesses to clean up late payment culture in this country………I’m not sure lobbyists are knocking on the right door. Government agencies like the NHS have often been criticised by their own suppliers for tardy trade payments….. DEFRA was another example that took years to finally pay contractors for the clean up operation following the foot and mouth crisis in 2002.
Now I read that the EU Ombudsman has reported on his investigation into complaints that the EU doesn’t settle its own bills to suppliers. He has concluded that 300, 000 GBP was paid out to disgruntled suppliers in interest alone last year (and that’s coming out of taxpayers money don’t forget!). He also estimates that 22% of payments were delayed by the EU last year with an average delay of 48 days.
When government departments clean up their own act when it comes to paying bills on time, large organisations may become more concerned about their own trade payment practices. So long as Government bodies say one thing , and do another, the pressure for change won’t amount to much.