The announcement by Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford AM, that as from 1 January 2018, project bank accounts (PBAs) will be used on building projects over £2 million (procured by Welsh Government bodies) has received praise from the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group Wales/Cymru.
SEC Group Wales represents the largest sector (by value) in Welsh construction. Speaking on behalf of the Group its Chairman, Peter Davies, said he was delighted with the announcement:
“SEC Group Wales has been the leading exponent of PBAs since they are the most effective method for ensuring regular and secure payments to construction supply chains, especially SMEs.”
Cat Griffith Williams, National Executive Officer for SEC Group Wales, added:
“Poor payment practices are the biggest killer of productivity and growth in Welsh construction. PBAs will help curb abuse and thus enable small firms to deliver to their full potential.”
These comments were echoed by Michelle Davies from the ECA:
“Welsh Government is to be congratulated. Dealing with poor payment practices has to be the number one priority for construction. I look forward to the time when we can half the threshold for using PBAs.”
Professor Rudi Klein CEO of UK SEC Group also heaped praise on the Welsh Government:
“Wales now joins Northern Ireland, Scotland and the UK Government in using PBAs in public sector construction. Evidence is now emerging that as well as protecting SMEs from abuse they are also helping to reduce the cost of construction.”
SEC Group Wales intends to work with Welsh Government in helping to train the industry and public sector bodies in the use of PBAs. The Group has already published guidance for clients, 12 Easy Steps in Setting up a Project Bank Account . It is understood that the bulk of public sector construction in Wales will be paid through PBAs.
Notes for Editors
- SEC Group Wales/Cymru comprises the following premier trade associations: British Constructional Steelwork Association, Building Engineering Services Association, ECA, Lift and Escalator Industry Association.
- Details of the announcement can be found on the following link: http://gov.wales/about/cabinet/cabinetstatements/2017/projectbankaccounts/?lang=en . Welsh Government’s new PBA Procurement Advice Note and Guidelines for deploying Welsh Government PBA Policy are available on their Procurement Route Planner websites Policy and Resources Toolkit.
- PBAs are ring-fenced accounts through which payments are made directly and simultaneously to the project participants. This avoids payments having to go through the various tiers of contracting. Consequently payments can be made direct to the supply chain within as little as 12 days and, once in the account, the monies are protected from upstream insolvencies.
For further information please contact Cat Griffith-Williams, SEC Group Wales/Cymru National Executive on mobile 07967 347 883; email: griffith-williams@theBESA.com