Relief measures available for council suppliers affected by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
We genuinely appreciate the ongoing commitment and support received from our contracted suppliers to maintain services and supplies to us and our customers during the Covid-19 outbreak. We fully understand that this is a very challenging time and that we will all need to work together in the coming weeks.
We also appreciate that some suppliers may struggle to fully meet their contractual obligations; and that we may in consequence need to alter existing requirements, temporarily suspend some services, or change ways of working to do what is necessary for our community.
During this period we would like to work together with our at-risk suppliers to provide support, where it is possible, in order that we can resume normal contract service delivery as soon as the Covid-19 outbreak is over.
What relief is available?
We'd encourage all of our suppliers to look at the government financial support for businesses first. They're the best way to secure financial assistance at this time.
If you are a local supplier you may also be eligible to apply for a business support grant.
Support from us
We also recognise the need for a pragmatic approach at this time and are taking steps to help our suppliers:
Our supplier payment processes enable immediate payment of approved supplier payment plans and invoices. This means once they have cleared you will receive payment in 3 working days via the BACS payment system.
Additional support for at-risk suppliers
We're keen to work with at-risk suppliers and consider additional support. The relief available will vary on a case by case basis according to the nature of the services, goods or works being provided, the challenges being faced, the contracted terms and the constraints of any statutory requirements. This could include:
accelerated invoice payment
increased frequency of invoicing
payment in advance or on order (not receipt) in exceptional circumstances
redeployment of any currently unrequired service capacity to other areas of need
changes to service levels
changes to delivery locations, frequency and timing of delivery
changes to targets and performance indicators
extension of time for contract performance
payment at usual contractual rates for certain critical services with analysis and reconciliation at a later date.
There may be other forms of relief that could help in the short-term, so please feel free to suggest those if it ensures we can maintain business continuity.
How to request relief
If you need some flexibility or support up to the end of June 2020 and would like to request some contractual relief, you should make contact with your normal Council contract manager or day to day contact to discuss the options that might be available.
You may then be asked to follow up with a formal relief request by email to your contact, detailing your rationale and justification, in order that the Council can quickly determine the best solution that is in the best interests of both parties and our community.
Supplier obligations during the relief period
The Council needs all suppliers to ensure that business continuity is maintained wherever possible, and that you enact your business continuity plans to do your utmost to support the Council's requirements.
In some cases the Council may need to make quick decisions with imperfect information, and any supplier relief offered is conditional on suppliers agreeing to act and work on a total open book basis with appropriate cost transparency in order that the Council can continue to meet its value for money obligations.
Support from other areas
If you operate in other areas of the county, find out about the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) support offered by other councils using the links below: