A Kenyan legislator is seeking to have the Public Procurement and Disposal Act amended to include a prompt payments clause. The legislator aims to have procurement officials pay for goods and services rendered timely.
Often times, suppliers to national and county governments complain of delayed payments for goods and services delivered. The new law seeks to solve the problem of late payments to businesses.
In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria outlines rules to be followed by procurement officers in paying for goods and services rendered to government.
He proposes a clause that will compel procuring officers to make payments ‘within 30 days of receiving invoices and certificates for all procurement under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) reserved for women, youth and persons living with disabilities’
In the general categories, the Hon Kuria proposes payments be made within 90 days of receiving invoices and certificates.
The procurement authorities who do not pay within the said period should provide the supplier with a revocable promissory note valid for a period of less than two years. “Such a note shall be used as a financial instrument by any licensed bank, may be traded on the secondary market. And should be included as part of the national debt…” said the legislator in the letter.
In the event that the procuring entity fails to pay within the set time or does not provide a promissory note, the legislator proposes that the office of the Ombudsman institutes criminal charges against the accounting officers in them.
The proposed law aims to protect businesses that supply goods and services to the government particularly Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). This is expected to also result in fair representation of national debt as dues owed to the private sector will be included when accounting for government debt.