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Zed promises to pay the bills

By johnboy - 6 May 2010 6

Brendan Smyth is channelling Zed and promising that unlike the tardy Stanhopian Regime, a Seselja government in 2012 would pay its bills to small business:

“Details of the recent payment history of invoices by the ACT Government reveal a number of agencies have a significant level of invoices that are considered to be overdue [that is, these invoices are paid after 35 days];

— Disability, Housing and Community Services – 22 per cent overdue
— Territory and Municipal Services – 20 per cent overdue
— Chief Minister’s Department -19 per cent overdue
— Education and Training – 16 per cent overdue

This will of course mean adding an extra field to the government payment systems to recognise and prioritise the tiddlers.

What’s Your opinion?


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6 Responses to
Zed promises to pay the bills
tharwa2 1:17 pm 10 May 10

bd84 said :

For example, how many of those invoices are with parties external to the ACT Government as opposed to being with another ACT Government department? or how many invoices are overdue while the department investigates or contests an invoice to make sure it is valid and that they are paying the right amount of our money? Taking that into account you may find the true number will be a lot lower.

That is not quite true. Though I don’t know the exact detail of the supposed data that the Liberal Party is using in this case, whenever these types of statistics are provided in the past, they are talking about the average time of payment after a “correctly rendered” invoice.

Thus if the relevant Agency is for some reason determining if the invoice is legit, then that would not be part of these statistics (though in this case I would not be surprised). For the most part, vendors are approved to invoice first, then when the invoice is supplied it is a simple matter of double-checking the figure is correct.

I suspect there is a problem with correct invoices to Agencies being delayed by the Shared Services process for whatever reason. This does appear to have become worse over recent years because it was not a problem for a long time after the Commonwealth instituted a 30-day payment guarantee some years ago.

bd84 10:03 pm 07 May 10

In general, yes government departments should be paying on time. However, to get figures on invoices over 35 days old and point at the percentage as being bad will not paint an accurate picture.

For example, how many of those invoices are with parties external to the ACT Government as opposed to being with another ACT Government department? or how many invoices are overdue while the department investigates or contests an invoice to make sure it is valid and that they are paying the right amount of our money? Taking that into account you may find the true number will be a lot lower.

harvyk1 10:03 am 07 May 10

Just because it’s probable that all governments do it, does not make it right and it shouldn’t just be ignored. Small businesses live and die by cash flow. we don’t have the millions in reserve which big business has.

I suppose the simple solution if the government owes you money is to withhold payment of taxes until you have received the money which you are owed. Seems fair to me.

johnny_the_knife 9:51 am 07 May 10

Then they should operate with longer payment terms. If a department executes a contract with 30 day terms, knowing full well they won’t be able to make payment within the agreed perid a good percentage of the time, then that is even worse.

Jean Mc 9:20 am 07 May 10

I think if there was an inquiry it would likely show that all Governments have a similar record. Governments just move slowly.

johnny_the_knife 8:13 am 07 May 10

For any government to be making late payment to any business, let alone a small business, is nothing short of absolutely unacceptable. This really is just further evidence of the general contempt this government has for small business.

Added to this, if Zed and his crew really cared about this issue, they would be demanding some kind of official inquiry forthwith, not simply using it to have a snipe of Stanhope.

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