Struggling public sector suppliers urged to seek help

Door and window manufacturers and installation companies are being advised to talk to their regional framework partners as quickly as possible if they are struggling to deliver any public sector works, have seen projects paused, or are worried about payment.

LHC is sending information to all approved suppliers on its frameworks with updated advice on how to manage the risks arising from the current Covid-19 crisis.

This follows the publication of two policy notes from the Cabinet Office, including one which explained how suppliers should be paid by public sector clients as quickly as possible to maintain cashflow and protect jobs, and even paid in advance in some situations.

John Skivington, group director of LHC (pictured), said: “The latest Cabinet Office advice allows for a relaxation of procurement rules in some specific circumstances, and encourages councils, social landlords and other public sector bodies to pay suppliers as quickly as possible. You may even be entitled to get up to 25% of the project payment made in advance.

“No appointed company should need to struggle alone. Through LHC’s network of local offices we are uniquely placed to provide region-specific reassurance and to support to our appointed companies, including speaking to clients on your behalf. Whatever the problem, we can work it out. Just pick up the phone and talk to your local framework expert – it’s at times like this that these local relationships matter most.”

Through its regional business operations, LHC is also helping over-stretched local authorities to source approved suppliers for emergency building repairs and maintenance services. This work is expected to provide a useful lifeline to some contractors whose other projects may be cancelled or temporarily paused.