From time to time, businesses approach me raising concerns about public sector contracts. The most frequent complaint is of course, late payments.
There is a Government service which can help businesses in this position called the Public Procurement Review Service. It is a service which allows a supplier to raise concerns anonymously about public sector procurement, in a similar way to how a mystery shopper can report back on poor customer services. The department has so far helped hundreds of suppliers navigate challenging public procurement opportunities without having that potential for negative impact on future contracts if a complaint is raised.
Since 2011 the Procurement Review Service has handled over 1550 cases and brought about speedier payments of over £6 million The service not only ensures that everyone is paid fairly but helps the Government improve how it buys goods and services. Cases are summarised and published but only the contracting authorities are ever named.
The service is completely free to use and while it may not resolve all issues or result in an immediate payment, it is aimed at brokering a positive resolution as well as gain a better insight to prevent the issue from occurring again.
You can find out more about the service and how to raise a complaint by clicking the link below
For businesses experiencing problems on private sector contracts, there is the Small Business Commissioner. This scheme was launched in December and is aimed at supporting businesses with payment disputes and bringing about culture change.
Again it is a free and impartial service which can not only help businesses chase up any unpaid invoices but can check contracts and signpost businesses to dispute resolution services.