This report contains the results of the fifteenth survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business (the survey) for the period 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013. The survey monitors compliance with the Procurement On-Time Payment Policy for Small Business (the policy), which replaced the former Procurement 30 Day Payment Policy for Small Business from 1 September 2012. The full policy details are available through the Department of Finance,
The key concepts are:
- For payments valued up to $5 million (GST inclusive) to small businesses, FMA Act agencies must adopt maximum payment terms ‘not exceeding 30 days’.
- For written procurement contracts with small businesses valued up to $1 million (GST inclusive), where the amount of interest accrued is more than $10, agencies must pay interest on late payments:
- On request from the small business for payments made after 30 days (but before 60 days), from receipt of a correctly rendered invoice; and
- Via a self-generated interest payment where payments are made after 60 days from receipt of a correctly rendered invoice.
The survey captures data on payment performance for each agency. The proportion of invoices paid on-time by number (volume) and proportion of invoices paid on-time by value were measured. Within 30 days of receiving a correctly rendered invoice from small business, agencies are required to meet a 90 per cent benchmark of on-time payment. The survey data notes the number of invoices paid on-time, up to two weeks late, up to a month late, and over a month late.
Where financial systems could not separately identify small business invoices, agencies were requested to include invoices of up to $5 million (inclusive of GST) as a proxy.
The survey gathered data on the number of requests for interest payments over $10 for invoices paid up to 60 days late to small businesses on invoices valued up to $1 million (inclusive of GST). The value of these payments was collected and collated with historical data.
In accordance with the new policy, the survey data also indicates the number and value of automatic interest payments that were made to small businesses on invoices paid after 60 days, up to $1 million (inclusive of GST) in value, and where interest was more than $10.
The main findings from the 1 July 2012 – 30 June 2013 survey are:
- 40 agencies participated1; covering around 836,000 invoices worth a total of approximately $3 billion (see Table 1).
- By number, 96.11 per cent of invoices were paid within 30 days and in terms of value 92.95 per cent of invoices were paid on time (see Table 2).
- Only one department, the former Department of Health and Ageing, just failed to meet the 90 per cent benchmark, with a result of 89.58% for on-time payments of invoices from small business.
- On-time performance, in terms of the total number of invoices has dropped slightly since the previous survey period from 96.8 per cent (2011-12) to 96.11 per cent (2012-13).
- Performance, in terms of the total value of invoices received and paid on-time has also dropped slightly since the previous survey period from 94.2 per cent (2011-12) to 92.95 per cent (2012-13).
|Number of invoices||Value of invoices|
|Paid within 30 days||803,377||$2,837,403,964|
|Paid within 31-44 days (up to 2 weeks late)||17,245||$130,629,131|
|Paid within 45-60 days (up to 30 days late)||7,148||$43,337,176|
|Paid after 60 days (over 30 days late)||8,153||$41,101,057|
|Total paid late||32,546||$215,067,364|
|By number||By value|
|Paid within 30 days||96.11%||92.95%|
|Paid after 30 days (ie. Total paid late)||3.89%||7.05%|
|Paid after 60 days2||1.83%||2.77%|
The Australian Government has conducted this survey since 2002. Since that time, there has been a significant improvement in the proportion of invoices paid within 30 days and the number of agencies meeting the 90 per cent benchmark. In 2002, only 82 per cent of invoices were paid on time, now the Australian Government is paying over 96 per cent on-time (see Chart 1).
The 2012-13 results have declined slightly compared to 2011-12; however, the number of agencies meeting and exceeding the benchmark has significantly improved from a low of 30 per cent (5/17) of agencies in 2002 to over 97 per cent (39/40) in 2012-13. This represents an achievement for the Government, particularly as the number of agencies surveyed has grown from 17 in 2002, to 40 in 2013 (see Table 3 and Table 5).
Chart 1: History – Whole-of-Government payment performance
*This period only includes data for July – December 2005, no data was collected for
January – June 2006
|Survey Period||Number of agencies reaching the 90 per cent benchmark|
|Jul to Jun 2012-13||39/40|
|Jul to Jun 2011-12||39/40|
|Jul to Jun 2010-11||40/40|
|Jul to Jun 2009-10||39/41|
|Jul to Jun 2008-09||37/40|
|Jul to Jun 2007-08||32/38|
|Jul to Jun 2006-073||34/39|
|Jul to Dec 2005||27/31|
|Jan to June 2005||26/31|
|Jul to Dec 2004||25/30|
|Jan to June 2004||23/31|
|Jul to Dec 2003||22/29|
|Jan to Jun 2003||17/29|
|July to Dec 200245||15/27|
|Jan to June 200267||5/17|
This survey is the fourth to collect full financial year data on the Australian Government’s on-time payment guarantee to small businesses. On 1 September 2012, the Procurement 30 Day Payment Policy for Small Business was replaced by the Procurement On-Time Payment Policy for Small Business.
In 2012-13, a total of 465 late payment interest invoices were paid. Of these, 12 were requested by small businesses, and 453 were automatically generated by agencies (see Table 4a and 4b). In 2011-12, only 50 interest invoices were paid, indicating the change in policy has resulted in more interest being paid to small businesses. In particular, the addition of automatic interest payment after 60 days has resulted in far greater interest payments due to late payment.
The total amount of interest paid on late invoices in 2012-13 was $35,110.23, of which $3,061.45 was paid on late invoices over 30 days, and $32,048.78 on late invoices paid after 60 days. In 2011-12, $21,687.38 was paid in interest to small businesses as there were far fewer invoices for interest. This also highlights the average amount of interest per late invoice was far less in 2012-13 (about $76 per invoice) compared to 2011-12 (about $434 per invoice).
|Number of late payment interest invoices||Amount of interest paid ($)|
|2012 – 2013 (see Table 4b)||465||35,110.23|
|2011 – 2012||50||21,687.38|
|2010 – 2011||60||3,863.15|
|2009 – 2010||33||4,821.80|
|2008 – 20098||1||30.27|
|Invoices for interest on late payments 31 – 60 days||Invoices for interest on late payments over 60 days||TOTAL|
|Agency||Percentage of invoices paid on time (by number)|
|Australian Bureau of Statistics||97.53%|
|Australian Communications and Media Authority||99.41%|
|Australian Customs and Border Protection Service||90.62%|
|Australian Electoral Commission||99.64%|
|Australian Federal Police||99.14%|
|Australian Office of Financial Management||99.26%|
|Australian Research Council||90.36%|
|Australian Securities and Investments Commission||97.94%|
|Australian Taxation Office||95.50%|
|Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)||94.21%|
|Bureau of Meteorology||92.50%|
|Defence Material Organisation||94.76%|
|Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry||90.06%|
|Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy||93.12%|
|Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency||99.52%|
|Department of Defence||95.92%|
|Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations||95.67%|
|Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs||95.31%|
|Department of Finance and Deregulation||99.54%|
|Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade||95.59%|
|Department of Health and Ageing||89.58%|
|Department of Human Services||97.63%|
|Department of Immigration and Citizenship||96.96%|
|Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education||99.61%|
|Department of Infrastructure and Transport||99.87%|
|Department of Parliamentary Services||92.53%|
|Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet||99.36%|
|Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport||98.95%|
|Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism||99.59%|
|Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities||97.06%|
|Department of the Treasury||97.06%|
|Department of Veteran's Affairs||96.38%|
|Family Court of Australia & Federal Circuit Court||98.30%|
|Future Fund Management Agency||97.71%|
|National Archives of Australia||98.38%|
|National Blood Authority||96.68%|
|National Capital Authority||94.61%|
|National Health and Medical Research Council||97.00%|
1 At 1 July 2013, there were 40 FMA Act material agencies. ASIO did not report due to the nature of their work. The former Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) reported as a separate entity even though its functions were moved to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, and Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism due to machinery of Government changes. DCCEE’s financial management system were not transferred until after 30 June 2013.
2 The category ‘Paid after 60 days’ is a component of the ‘Paid after 30 days’ category
3 No survey was conducted in the period Jan to Jun 2006 in order to transition into financial year reporting
4 Introduction of 90% benchmark
5 Includes the participation of Material Agencies for the first time
6 Over the period 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2005 eight bi-annual surveys were conducted to monitor compliance with the Procurement 30 Day Payment Policy for Small Business
7 This first survey was limited to Departments and did not include Material Agencies
8 Reports approximately six months of data since the policy started on 1 December 2008
9 Number of invoices paid late, up to $1 million in value as set out in the Finance Procurement Guidelines