How do I get paid?
Payment terms and conditions can vary considerably between each agency and each contract. It is important to read and review the contract carefully to understand the payment terms before you bid for a project or sign the contract to ensure that you understand when it is that you will be paid. If you have any questions you should check with the agency.
However, as a guide, generally speaking simple contracts will be paid following the acceptance of the goods or services and after receipt of an invoice. The payment approach for formal contracts will be specified in the contract. In some instances, part payment may occur at different intervals during the contract.
Meeting the milestones
Contracts will be monitored against milestones and performance measures as set out in the contract. It is important that you understand the contract and these are able to be achieved as in many cases payment is determined by meeting those deliverables.
Contracts variations can occur. How these are managed will usually be specified in the contract documentation. However, you should always contact the agency contract manager, in the first instance, when a contract variation is needed.
What happens if a dispute arises?
If a dispute arises, you should approach the agency contact manager / contact in the first instance, to try and resolve the dispute before it escalates. An open dialogue is recommended.
Where relevant, formal dispute procedures will be specified in the contract documentation and/or the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009. For information on the Security of Payment Act go to the Department of Justice's website.
When are contract extensions allowed?
Contract extensions are generally only allowed if provided for in the Conditions of Contract and may depend on the agreed performance conditions.
What is Contractor Performance Reporting?
Contractor Performance Reporting may be undertaken where prequalification is used depending on the value of the project. For example, for building and construction, contractor performance reporting applies when prequalification under the National Prequalification System for Non-residential Building is required.
Where it is to occur, information will be contained in the procurement documentation issued at the commencement of the purchasing process and also in the contract. Where it applies, the outcome from this appraisal will be important as it evaluates the services you provided and forms part of your reputation when dealing with the Government.