This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Changes to government procurement announced by Greg Clark

23 March 2018

Improvement to procurement policies within public sector contracts were announced by business secretary Greg Clark this week.

This was confirmed during his participation within the ongoing inquiry into the collapse of Carillion, as Mr Clark was questioned by MPs.

Government procurement policies were highlighted as adding to the practice of sub-economic tendering by the PFM Editorial Advisory Board when it met shortly after the Carillion collapse.

A particularly relevant question was asked by Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach, when she questioned how suppliers could have confidence in the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Ms Sandbach said that Carillion had been a member of the scheme, but had subjected its suppliers to 120-day payment terms and it was likely it had been "propped up by those terms", according to Construction Manager Magazine.

Stating that it had been "obvious" that Carillion's terms had been too long, Mr Clark said that companies were now obliged to report on their payment policies and practices, which had not previously been the case.

The "arresting effect" this had begun to have on issues such as gender pay was used as an example of how the situation was expected to improve.

Mr Clark further stated that he agreed "it is not adequate" and outlined discussions conducted with SMEs "in our taskforce in recent weeks" to consider further improvements.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves described Carillion as "notorious" late payers and asked how government procurement was being improved "to make sure where the money actually goes", in addition to "tightening up" the PPC.

Agreeing that government practise "has not been good enough" Mr Clark said it should use its influence "for good" wherever possible.

However, he declined to commit to any timescale despite describing the action as "a priority and it needs to be urgent".

Print this page | E-mail this page


View more articles
Article image

Drive to improve procurement practices continues to gather pace

Following calls to improve procurement processes in all areas following the collapse of Carillion last year, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB...
Article image

Government urged to 'avoid Apprenticeship Levy mistakes' in T levels

Lack of awareness for the new T level qualifications has been highlighted by a recent survey conducted by manufacturers' association Make UK....
Article image

Early involvement of FMs called for in Soft Landings topic guide

Publication of its Soft Landings and Business-Focused Maintenance Topic Guide has been announced by BSRIA, designe...
Article image

Communication is essential for delivery of health and safety

Complying with legislative requirements in all areas of facilities is one of the overriding areas of concentration for all FMs and these are often regarded...
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

The rise of the specialist service provider

There is a big shake up going on across the facilities management (FM) market as clients recognise they need more engineering support to help them keep the...