19 October 2009 | Jake Kanter
Nearly all suppliers to the Scottish government are paid within 10 days, according to latest figures.
Speaking at the Scottish National Party's annual conference last week, finance secretary John Swinney said payment practices have improved significantly in the past year and 95 per cent of vendors have their bills settled in 10 days.
In October 2008 only around 46 per cent of suppliers were paid in 10 days. But in March this year it rose to 92 per cent and by September it was 95 per cent.
The Scottish government told SM it recognised there was room for improvement and while technology had helped it hit faster payment times, setting the target was itself the prime reason for the turnaround.
Swinney said: "Companies and business organisations rightly expect prompt payment from government, particularly in a recession, when businesses face challenges on a daily basis."
In June the Scottish government introduced a contract clause requiring all businesses in its supply chain to pay vendors within 30 days (news, 26 June 2009).