Pay On-Time Survey - Performance Report 2016

Publication type


Survey of Australian Government agencies

This report contains the results of the Government Pay On-Time Survey for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years. The report captures data on the performance of Australian Government agencies against the Department of Finance Resource Management Guide – Supplier Pay On-Time or Pay Interest Policy (Pay On-Time policy).

The results show that for those Government agencies who responded to the survey they are paying on average 97 per cent of contracts valued under $1 million on time.

The key concepts of the Pay On-Time policy are:

  • Government agencies must make a payment to businesses for contracts which are valued at $1 million or less within 30 days.
  • Where a Government agency has not made payment within 30 days, the agency must pay interest to the business on the outstanding amount, if the amount of interest accrued is more than $100.

The survey has been conducted since 2002. The previous surveys monitored compliance with the Pay On-Time policies at the time which applied to contracts valued up to $5 million between Government agencies and small businesses.

The current Pay On-Time policy, amended in July 2014, now covers all business contracts valued up to $1 million, irrespective of business size.

There is also a change to the way interest is applied to late payments under the Pay On-Time policy. The previous surveys looked at contracts with small businesses valued up to $1 million where agencies must pay interest on amounts accruing more than $10 in particular circumstances.

The current Pay On-Time policy, amended in July 2014, now requires interest to be paid to business if the outstanding amount is greater than $100.

Given the changes which occurred to the Pay On-Time in policy in 2014, the data captured by this survey is not easily comparable to previous surveys.