Whose fault is this?
The following is taken from the CCS model contract (framework agreement) which is used as the basis for all current Govt framework agreements including IT and is publicly available on the CCS website:
23.2.1 The Supplier shall ensure that all Sub-Contracts contain a provision:
(a) requiring the Supplier to pay any undisputed sums which are due from the Supplier to the Sub-Contractor within a specified period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the receipt of a valid invoice; and
So the Framework that suppliers sign requires them to include this in their contracts and the clause goes further insisting that the Supplier tell the Govt when they have not met the 30 days limit and gives the Govt the right to publicise this failure and still this is an issue??
The problem here that the NAO really needs to highlight is that Govt Contract Managers do not enforce the contracts they sign and CCS waste time putting clauses in to contracts that they never enforce. Perhaps if Civil Servants did their job things might change.