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© Elena Rostunova

Building contractors, specialist subcontractors and manufacturers throughout the UK are being advised to talk to their regional framework partners as quickly as possible if they are struggling to deliver any public sector works

Contractors are being urged to contact their regional framework partners if they are struggling to deliver any public sector works, have seen projects paused or are worried about payment.

Framework provider, 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 procurement 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.

Relaxation of procurement rules

John Skivington, group director of LHC, 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.

Coronavirus update

More than 9,529 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK, although the actual number of cases is estimated to be much higher.

So far 463 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died.

More than 87,400 people in the UK have been tested for the virus but were found not to have it.

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