25 May 2022

Kildare County Council criticised over payment delays to contractors


Council criticised over payment delays to contractors

Aras Chill Dara, Naas

Contractors have to wait for up to three months to be paid for their work by Kildare County Council.

Small and medium employers make up to 90% of businesses in Ireland and this sector only does about one third of public contracts, according to Cllr  Veralouise Behan.

She  was referring to the renovation of properties and called for a review so that the process can be streamlined and turnaround times improved.

“There is a delay between jobs being finalised and payments being made. If they have to wait for that long they cannot do it and they won’t want to be involved in county council work,” said the councillor at a March 28 KCC meeting.

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Cllr Suzanne Doyle said that KCC should explore the idea of having more crews employed by itself as well as granting rent rebates to council tenants who do certain works on their properties.

Cllr Michael Coleman said the delay is very long “for small builders who have to support families.”

He pointed out that they have to be paid anyway, so the process should be speeded up.

KCC official Annette Aspell said she was unaware of any complaints but would follow up on specific queries.

She said there is a problem with the availability of tradespeople and materials.

“Our turnaround times are pretty consistent,” said Ms Aspell.

In a report Ms Aspell said there are 10 -12 contractors currently engaged on “our quick turnaround framework and mini tender frameworks”  - and the use of these frameworks is dependent on the scale of works required in refurbishing specific  properties.

All contractors have already been considered through the public procurement process and are pre-approved in respect of pricing, health and safety and relevant experience in carrying out the works required to return vacant properties to a suitable and habitable standard. 

“The presence of these frameworks ensures that KCC  can appoint contractors to carry out works in an efficient manner. 

The availability of supplies is resulting in delayed turnaround times, an example is the increase in the delivery period for windows increasing from 28 days to between 10-15 weeks. Such a delay adds a significant period to the turnaround time.”

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