Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

Procurement Policy Note 02/20: Supplier relief

05 May 2020 #Public Procurement

Last month the Crown Commercial Service published its second PPN addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. PPN 02/20 guidance on how public bodies should be helping suppliers during the current crisis, and will be welcomed by suppliers to the public sector. The key messages for public bodies are:

  • Suppliers should be paid as quickly as possible, to maintain cashflow and protect jobs.
  • Disputes surrounding invoices should be resolved as quickly as possible, and consideration should be given to paying disputed invoices immediately and reconciling later.
  • Suppliers who are identified as being at risk of insolvency should continue to be paid even where delivery of services is disrupted. Where invoices are normally based on varying levels of delivery, payments can be based on the average over the last few months. Advance payments can also be considered. However, suppliers cannot both receive payments under public sector contracts and also take advantage of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – only staff not working on these contracts can be furloughed.
  • In the construction sector, consideration should be given to early release of all or part of retentions, in particular where works have been substantially completed or only minor snagging remains.
  • A pragmatic approach should be taken to requests by suppliers to grant extensions of time or vary contractual obligations.

These reliefs will continue until at least the end of June and public bodies may use their discretion to apply them for a longer period if disruption continues.

Any suppliers experiencing issues in enforcing payment of invoices should contact us for further assistance.

Clarkslegal, specialist Public Procurement lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Public Procurement matter please contact Clarkslegal's public procurement team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Emma Butcher

Emma Butcher

T: 0118 960 4671
M: 07799 212 511


Public Procurement team
+44 (0)118 958 5321