Finance Minister, Conor Murphy today outlined steps taken to ensure Government departments pay their suppliers as quickly as possible to maintain cash flow and protect jobs.
Minister Murphy, said: “Covid-19 is having a significant impact on businesses. As public procurement delivers approximately £2.7 billion, it is an important element of the economy and it is therefore vital we take immediate steps to protect suppliers and contractors during these challenging times.
“I have instructed all Government Departments to continue paying suppliers who provide goods and services for which demand has reduced or been paused temporarily due to Covid-19.
“This will ensure cash continues to flow through the supply chain and will help with the paying of salaries and protection of jobs. Importantly it will mean suppliers struggling to meet their contractual obligations are able to resume service delivery when the outbreak is over.”
If there are cases where suppliers are found to be taking undue advantage or failing to act transparently or with integrity, Departments will take action to recover payments made and consider mandatory or discretionary exclusion from future government contracts.
Notes to editors:
- Further information is available on our website.
- Departments will require as a condition of any payment that suppliers agree to operate on a transparent basis, and make available to the Department access to any data necessary to demonstrate the payments made to the supplier under contract have been used in the manner intended. This might include evidence that staff have been paid the right amount and on time, and that cash continues to flow through the supply chain as quickly as possible.
- Departments should keep records of decisions and agreements made, and ensure suppliers maintain records to enable future reconciliation if necessary.
- CPD in the Department of Finance will focus on procuring the urgent requirements needed and working in partnership with supplier to manage existing contracts that are subjected to changes as a result of the outbreak.
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