COVID-19 – Update from Highways England 03/04/2020

Please see below update email from Malcolm Dare, Executive Director, Commercial and Procurement, Highways England. Please note the second point regarding supplier payments.

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

I would like to highlight the following areas:

  • Engagement Council: The call was well received and we 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 I am keen to provide a forum where suppliers can ask questions etc

  • Supplier Payments: We are continuing to accelerate supplier payments for work completed and correctly invoiced. We 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. We are also ensuring that we have increased cash reserves available to support further accelerated payments. I would also like to remind suppliers that we 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 I would like to highlight that we 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: I 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 we released the PIN for the £3.6bn, 6 year Operations Scheme Delivery Framework. C-19 related challenges might result in delays to our normal approval times but I would like to re-emphasise that we are continuing to operate as close to business as usual as possible.

  • Government Support: Finally I 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 us fully informed of any challenges that you believe could occur, or you are experiencing, so that we 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.

Once again thank you for your help and I look forward to working with your organisations over the coming weeks.


Malcolm Dare

Executive Director, Commercial & Procurement

Highways England | Bridge House | 1 Walnut Tree Close | Guildford | Surrey |GU1 4LZ”

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