3rd May 2016

On the 21st March 2016 the Crown Commercial Services published their latest Procurement Policy Note (PPN), reminding all contracting authorities of the annual publication requirements under Regulation 113(7) of The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR), relating to payment performance statistics.

From 2016, at the end of each financial year colleges are required to publish data demonstrating compliance with the obligation to pay invoices within 30 days to first tier suppliers/prime contractors over the previous 12 months. The data should be freely available via the internet and include:

  1. the percentage of invoices paid within 30 days; and
  2. the amount of interest paid to suppliers due to late payment.

In subsequent years colleges must also publish iii) the total amount of interest that they were liable to pay (whether or not paid and whether under any statutory or other requirement), due to a breach of Regulation 113.

The guidance mentions a March 2016 publication date as this is a common year end amongst many contracting authorities, however as colleges’ year end isn’t usually until 31 July, the requirement to publish the data will not be until after 31 July 2016 for most colleges.

The PPN advises that the Mystery Shopper Service will undertake spot checks to ensure that contracting authorities comply with these new publication measures.

Exemptions from this requirement include schools, academies and sixth form colleges.

Background: Regulation 113 of the PCR requires contracting authorities to verify an invoice in a timely manner, pay valid and undisputed invoices within 30 days, ensure this payment term is passed down the supply chain and report on compliance to this payment term. Further guidance is available on FELP. Where valid and undisputed invoices are not paid within 30 days, interest becomes payable as set out in the late payment legislation and can be claimed by the supplier.