Defence is assessing which projects can be bought forward to mitigate the pressures on SMEs caused by COVID-19, and is now paying approved invoices within a maximum of two days, Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price told ADM on 7 April.
Since 23 March, Defence has paid more than 34,000 invoices to a value of $2.3 billion, of which 71 per cent has been actioned early.
“I will personally intervene if I hear of any cases where major contractors are not flowing the benefits of early payments to small businesses in a reasonable time,” Minister Price said.
“I am holding weekly teleconferences with the leaders of defence companies, contractors, industry groups with senior Defence officials to hear first-hand their issues. We are working to provide fast help and good advice on clearing roadblocks and ways to keep our defence industry strong,” she stated.
Projects being assessed for accelerating ranged across Capability and Sustainment Group (CASG), Chief Information Officer Group (CIOG), and Estate and Infrastructure Group (E&IG). Those selected would offer the greatest amount of cash flow for small businesses, which remained the driving force of the country’s defence industry.
Defence was also looking at options to assist SMEs with training to prepare them for the future.
Note from the Managing Editor: ADM continues to offer our weekly Tender Bulletin with tenders from federal and state governments, NZ Government and relevant agencies for businesses looking for opportunities.