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Department of Health and Social Care: Billing

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL2088, tabled on 15 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Group Accounting Manual 2020-21 published by the Department of Health and Social Care on 19 April, whether they consider that guidance requires in all circumstances (1) a liability to pay interest accruing by virtue of any failure to pay invoices within the 30 day period, and (2) disclosure of such failure whether or not any claim for such liability has been made or settled.

Answered on

2 August 2021

The Public Contract Regulations 2015 Regulation 113(7) requires disclosure of the proportion of invoices paid in accordance with an obligation to pay valid and undisputed invoices within 30 days. The Procurement Policy Note 03/16 (PPN) requires disclosure of both the amount of interest paid to suppliers due to late payment and the amount of interest that the authority was liable to pay, whether or not paid, due to a breach of the Regulations. The Department does not interpret liable to pay in the PPN as a strict financial liability it allows for the possibility that the interest is not paid. The Department does not therefore consider that that Group Accounting Manual requires a liability to pay interest in all circumstances.

The Manual reflects the disclosure requirements of the PPN which states that disclosure of liabilities should include the total amount of any liability to pay interest which accrued by failing to pay invoices within the 30-day period where obligated to do so and the total amount of interest actually paid in the discharge of any such liability.