Thank you for your ongoing commitment and support to maintain services and supplies to the Council during the Covid-19 outbreak.
We know that this is a very challenging time and that we will all need to work together in the coming weeks.
We also appreciate that some suppliers may struggle to fully meet their full contractual obligations, and that we may need to alter our requirements, temporarily suspend some services, or change ways of working to do what is necessary for our community.
During this period the Council would like to work together with our contracted suppliers to provide support where it is possible in order that we can resume normal contract service delivery as soon as possible once the Covid-19 outbreak is over.
In addition to supporting the prompt payment of invoices Sefton Council has been working with theGovernment and are able to offer some supplier relief (support). This will be on a case by case basis according to the nature of the services, goods or works being provided, the challenges being faced, the contracted terms and the constraints of any statutory requirements.
Every contract will have its own unique characteristics and therefore the relief available will vary case by case, but some examples could be as follows:
- Extension of current contracts to ensure continuity of supply to Sefton Council.
- Forward ordering of goods and services if required
- Change is service delivery model to facilitate continuity of supply to Sefton Council
- Payment in advance or interim payments where justifiable.
- Extensions to time of delivery where justifiable.
- Redeployment of capacity into other areas of Council needs
Please note that the Sefton Council is itself experiencing staffing issues due to isolation and school closures and cannot guarantee a response time to any enquiries but we will therefore aim to achieve this support to the best of its ability.
There may be other forms of relief that may be helpful in the short-term so please feel free to suggest those if it ensures we can maintain business continuity.
Supplier relief is currently available up to the end of June 2020, and this may be extended further at a later date if we are advised of this by Government.
If you need some flexibility or support up to the end of June 2020 and would like to request some contractual relief you should make contact with your normal Sefton Council contract manager or day to day contact to discuss the options that might be available.
Please could you then follow up with a formal relief request by email to your contact and to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and your rationale and justification in order that Sefton Council can quickly determine the best solution in the best interests of both parties and our community.
Supplier Obligations during the Relief period
Sefton Council needs all suppliers to ensure that business continuity is maintained wherever possible, and that you enact your business continuity plans to do your utmost to support the Council’s requirements.
In some cases the Council may need to make quick decisions with imperfect information. Any supplier relief offered is conditional on suppliers agreeing to act and work on a total open book basis, with appropriate cost transparency in order that the Council can continue to meet its value for money obligations.
To qualify suppliers must accept Sefton Councils Model Interim Payment Terms (which are available on request) and commit to continue to pay staff and subcontractors and make cost data available to the Sefton Council during this period.
If it is found that any supplier is found to be taking undue advantage or failing in their duty to act transparently and with integrity, then the Council has a right to act to recover payments made.
Thank you for your support at this difficult time. By working together we aim to deliver the best possible outcomes for Sefton businesses and residents throughout the Covid-19 outbreak.