John Perry TD, Minister for Small Business, has published the latest set of quarterly composite figures, which show that government departments and agencies under the auspices of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation continue to comply with the Government requirement to pay business suppliers within 15 days of receiving a valid invoice.
The 2012 Quarter 4 figures show that government departments made a total of 62,013 payments in Quarter 4 amounting to €1.28bn. These returns are the 14th set of returns by Government Departments.
A total of 62,013 payments were made in Quarter 4 2012 amounting to €1.28bn. Of these, a total of 49,604 payments totalling €1.256bn were paid within 15 days. These payments represent 80 percent of the total number of payments made by Departments. 10 departments were paying between 90 percent and 100 percent of invoices by value within 15 days and the remaining six departments were paying in excess of 83 percent of invoices by value within 15 days. Additionally, all departments paid in excess of 97 percent of invoices by value within 30 days and 59,827 payments were made within 30 days by departments in the above period amounting to €1.277bn.
With regard to 13 agencies under the auspices of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in accordance with the new arrangement of extending the 15 day prompt payment requirement to the wider public service, a total of 22,794 payments were made in Quarter 4 by the Agencies amounting to €57.4m.
21,254 payments totalling €53.9m were paid within 15 days; a further 1,349 payments or 6 percent were made between 16 and 30 days; 10 agencies were paying in excess of 93 percent of invoices by value within 15 days; the remaining three agencies were paying between 70 percent and 85 percent of invoices by value within 15 days; 10 Agencies paid 100 percent of invoices by value within 30 days; and the remaining Agencies paid between 93 percent and 99 percent of invoices by value within 30 days.
Welcoming the findings Minister Perry said: “Any disruption to cash flow, particularly for small businesses, can mean the difference between solvency and bankruptcy. Therefore, it is vitally important, that small businesses continue to be paid on time.” He also stressed that the issue of late payment is “not just an Irish problem, it is a European-wide problem. To combat this issue, the Commission has adopted Directive 2011/7/EU, known as the Late Payment Directive on February 16, 2011. The proposed legislation will act as a deterrent to late payment and a driver for payment on time by establishing a clear expectation in law that payment will be made according to agreed terms that creditors will not be penalised financially when paid late and debtors will not benefit. This Directive came into force on March 15 2012 and must be transposed into Irish Law by March 16 2013.”
In addition, the Minister stated: “we are assisting business representative bodies to develop a Prompt Payments Code of Conduct. Initiatives such as this will improve compliance with the legislation in place and assist the transition to a culture of prompt payment in Ireland.”