The French Ministry of the Armed Forces has won the 2017 Payment Deadlines Prize in the “Public organisations” category. That is to say that among the latter it is the Ministry of the Armed Forces that pays its bills the fastest … or, at least, among the fastest.
This prize – in our opinion very poorly named in French as the Payment Delays Prize (Prix des délais de paiement) as it gives the impression that it is attributed to whoever takes longest to pay, rather than the opposite — was awarded at the National Conference of Payment Deadlines, organised by the business mediator, and placed under the high patronage of the President of the Republic. This prize rewards companies, administrations or communities for how quickly they meet payment deadlines.
In 2016 it took the Ministry of the Armed Forces an average of 22.8 days to pay its suppliers, down from 26 days in 2015, according to a ministry statement. So when one considers that in 2010 it took an average of 73 days before suppliers were paid, one can appreciate the effort made!
In 2016 the Ministry paid €18bn to 31,000 suppliers, including 80% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or micro-enterprises, who, between them, had issued 698,000 invoices within the scope of public procurement.
Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, “welcomes this excellent result obtained thanks to the strong implication of our personnel from the financial services,” the communiqué said. Contributing to this improvement were the implementation of the management of financial execution, the development of purchase cards and invoicing by internet. Today more than 60% of the invoices processed by the Ministry are sent by the suppliers via internet.
A micro-enterprise, which occasionally works for the ministry, confirmed that the internet billing system set up by the Ministry is very easy to use and admitted surprise at how fast its bills had been settled!