26 June 2009 | Jake Kanter
The Scottish government has unveiled a contract clause requiring all businesses in its supply chain to pay vendors within 30 days.
The clause will be inserted in all deals and is designed to encourage "good payment practice" right through the government's supply chain.
Speaking in parliament, first minister Alex Salmond [pictured] said small businesses have "serious concerns" over late payment.
"The Scottish government is already committed to efficient payment and 92 per cent of all our bills are paid within 10 days, which compares favourably to other UK government departments," he said. "We knew we had to go further which is why we are introducing this clause."
Andy Willox, Scottish policy convener for the Federation of Small Businesses said he was "delighted" with the action.
"Small firms working on public projects deserve to get paid as promptly as their larger counterparts - ensuring they do so could lift business survival rates and give Scotland's small business community a welcome boost."
Earlier this month criticisms of the Scottish government's procurement practices surfaced following a review of its supplier feedback service, the Single Point of Enquiry. Small vendors complained they were being "disadvantaged" by the government's "arduous" tendering procedures.