Prompt Payment Code
The Prompt Payment Code sets the gold standard in payment terms. Equifax Limited has signed up to this code, reinforcing our commitment to support our supply partners.
The Public Procurement Review Service allows government suppliers and potential government suppliers to raise concerns anonymously about potential poor public sector procurement practice. The Public Procurement Review Service investigates and aims to resolve enquiries that satisfy certain criteria, which are set out below. They welcome enquiries from suppliers who have concerns about the conduct of a procurement process which they have been part of, or which they wish to participate in. They also accept enquiries from organisations and trade bodies that represent suppliers. Learn more on their website.
Enquiries must relate to specific procurement and must have taken place in the last two years and either:
Concerns an English contracting authority as defined by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
Concerns a supply chain issue that relates to a contract let by an English contracting authority as defined by the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.
Concerns the late payment (i.e. not paid within 30 calendar days or any earlier payment date as stated in the contract terms) of valid and undisputed invoices on a public sector contract. This would also include late payment issues within the supply chain.
Secondly the enquiry should concern procurement practice, and should highlight a potential conflict with best practice or the Public Contract Regulations 2015 (2006 for older contracts). This can be at any stage of the procurement. For example:
Advertising of contracts
Formal tendering processes
The management of contracts, including payments to suppliers and subcontractors The role of the Public Procurement Review Service is to investigate suitable cases raised to them and to highlight improvements that could be made to procurement practices.
It’s a free service and suppliers can remain anonymous, if they want to. In 2019, 100% of the service’s recommendations were accepted by contracting authorities. Suppliers have been helped to reclaim over £8 million from more than 350 late payment cases, and the service has a 100% success rate for releasing payments on undisputed invoices. - Extract from Crown Commercial Service
The Prompt Payment Code is a voluntary code of practice for businesses, administered by the Office of the Small Business Commissioner on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It sets standards for payment practices between organisations of any size and their suppliers.
The Office of the Small Business Commissioner is responsible for regulation and governance of the Prompt Payment Code and of signatories of the code. It has the power to determine which companies become signatories and to then investigate any complaints concerning those signatories.
The code covers prompt payment, as well as wider payment procedures. Code signatories undertake to:
Pay suppliers on time
Give clear guidance to suppliers
Support good practice throughout their supply chain by encouraging adoption of the code. It requires signatories to undertake to pay 95% of invoices within a maximum of 60 days, work towards adopting 30 days as the norm and avoid any practices that adversely affect the supply chain.
Becoming a signatory of the Prompt Payment Code, and committing to good payment practices, benefits both suppliers and customers and is fundamental to bringing about a culture change in late payment and in helping to boost the economy.
Further information about the Prompt Payment Code can be found on the Office of the Small Business Commissioner’s website.