COVID-19 – Update from Highways England (3 Apr 20)

Following this week’s Engagement Council call, Highways England would like to update you further on their ongoing approach to the C-19 challenges. Their direction and guiding principles have not changed and they are continuing to operate as close to business as usual as possible so that they can continue to keep the SRN operating to support the country, the economy and to flow cash to all tiers of the supply chain.

HE would like to highlight the following areas:

  • Engagement Council: The call was well received and they are looking to hold another call in the next 2 – 4 weeks. This will most likely be the week after Easter so that we can provide a more focused update on business activities in relation to C-19. Regular weekly e-mails will continue in between but they are keen to provide a forum where suppliers can ask questions etc.
  • Supplier Payments: They are continuing to accelerate supplier payments for work completed and correctly invoiced. They currently pay 74% of invoices within five working days from the receipt of the invoice for all suppliers and we are looking to improve this further, especially for SME’s. They are also ensuring that they have increased cash reserves available to support further accelerated payments. They would also like to remind suppliers that they operate the Project Bank Account approach for construction based activities down to Tier 3 levels. Should this capability be of interest please contact us via the e-mail address below.
  • Additional Opportunities: Once again they would like to highlight that they are looking at opportunities to accelerate work in the Operations and Major Project areas in order to support the supply base. Should you have any suggestions please contact the e-mail address below.
  • Ongoing Procurement Activity: They would also like to stress that all planned and ongoing procurement activities are continuing and they will be published via normal channels. For instance this week they released the PIN for the £3.6bn, 6 year Operations Scheme Delivery Framework. C-19 related challenges might result in delays to their normal approval times but they would like to re-emphasise that they are continuing to operate as close to business as usual as possible.
  • Government Support: Finally they would also like to highlight that the Government have been actively supporting the construction industry this week. They continue to make it very clear that they want construction to continue to operate whilst following the Public Health England guidance as they recognise the critical importance of the sector and how it can support the country. Please can you ensure that this message cascades to both your employees and your own supply chains.

Should you have any questions please use the e-mail address.
Please keep HE fully informed of any challenges that you believe could occur, or you are experiencing, so that they can ensure a coordinated Highways England and supply chain response. Please also continue to work with your normal points of contact within Highways England on a daily basis.

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