Master Builders Australia has welcomed the Federal Government's move to amend its procurement and contracting arrangements to support businesses through COVID-19.
"The measures to give relief on contract terms and speed up payments announced by the Minister of Finance is an extremely positive initiative that will bolster confidence among building and construction businesses working on federally funded construction projects," says Denita Wawn, CEO Master Builders Australia.
"It's very pleasing to see the Government making an effort to be a model procurer and setting a good example in providing relief to businesses whose provision of goods and services is affected by COVID-19," she says.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann outlined the updates on Monday 11 May. To ensure Government agencies are making appropriate arrangements with suppliers impacted by coronavirus, the Department of Finance set the expectations for engagement by Government agencies. Commonwealth departments and agencies have been aksed to work collaboratively with suppliers to ensure business continuity and to take action to ensure supply chains are maintained. This includes revised payment arrangements: Government agencies are now expected to pay suppliers quicker than the maximum 20-day payment terms, will make payments of e-invoices within five days and will pay small invoices less than $10,000 immediately by card.
“Master Builders has been calling for this measure since the onset of the economic emergency brought on by the coronavirus and it’s really good to see the Government has been listening," Wawn says.
"Now we just need more private sector clients to follow the Government's example and also do the right thing and not take commercial advantage during the COVID-19 crisis," says Wawn, who also gave credit to the Defence Department, "which moved early on to provide this kind of support to its suppliers."