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Local Government and NHS Trusts: Billing

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL2168, tabled on 19 July 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government why National Health Service Trusts and English Local Authority Councils are allowed to be signatories to the Prompt Payment Code given the reports about failures to pay promptly and make the relevant disclosures under section 113(7) of the Public Contract Regulations 2015.

Answered on

28 July 2021

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner administers the Prompt Payment Code (the Code) on behalf of BEIS. The Office of the Small Business Commissioner is an independent public body set up by Government under the Enterprise Act 2016. The Code is a voluntary code of practice which any private or public sector organisation may sign up to. If an organisation chooses to sign up to the Code, they must demonstrate they meet the Code standards.

However, public sector organisations in scope of Reg 113 of the PCRs 2015 are required to meet payment standards as set out in legislation. This requires contracting authorities to include contractual provisions to make payments due to a contractor no later than 30 days from the point it is declared valid and undisputed, and for that verification to take place in a timely fashion and without undue delay.

Answered by

Cabinet Office