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Supplier payment policy

Background

Clare County Council has been working towards improving payment times, so as to assist the cash flow of businesses and is making every effort to allow for payment to suppliers within 15 days of receipt of a valid invoice.

In March 2011, under the Government's commitments to the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 and the EU/IMF Programme of Support for Ireland, the payment period in relation to valid invoices was reduced, on a voluntary basis, from 30 to 15 calendar days with effect from 1st July 2011.

The 15 day period will commence from the day on which Accounts Payable, Finance Section, Clare County Council, Aras Chontae an Chlair, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare receives a valid invoice.

Late payment interest continues to be payable under the terms of the Prompt Payment of Accounts Act 1997 and Late Payment in Commercial Payment Regulations 2012, in relation to any payments made after 30 days from receipt of a valid invoice.

Clare County Council endeavours to implement the government's voluntary 15 day prompt payment rule by:

  • Monitoring our payment system regularly to ensure that payments are processed in a timely manner.
  • Ensuring that we have a system in place to deal with disputes or queries efficiently. All efforts will be made to deal with disputes within 10 days.
  • Fostering good relationships with our suppliers and providing contact details for dealing with staff.
  • Giving clear guidance to suppliers on their role in ensuring timely payment of invoices.

Payment methods

The Clare County Council’s preferred payment method is by means of Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and in this regard the Clare County Council purchase order raiser/section contacts all new suppliers for relevant bank account details. In the case of all electronic payments, a payment notification giving details of the payment will be sent to the supplier by email (where an email address is provided) or by post.

If you have not been set up for EFT payment, please complete the attached supplier setup form and return it to:

Agresso Support,
Finance Section,
Clare County Council
New Road
Ennis
Co. Clare
Tel: (065) 6821616

Similarly if you have not supplied your VAT/PPS number kindly to arrange to forward same. While it is not a preferred payment method, payment can also be made by payable order (cheque) at present.

While it is not a preferred payment method, payment can be also be made by payable order (cheque) at present. Where payment is made by cheque, an attached advice note will provide details of the payment.In accordance with National Guidelines and legislation, cheque payments will not longer be made after 19th September 2014.

Tax compliance

Clare County Council requires all suppliers to be tax compliant and to furnish details in relation to same when requested.

What is a valid invoice?

Clare County Council can only pay original valid invoices received from a supplier(hard copy or e-invoice). The invoice must have been given an invoice number. We cannot pay on the basis of statements, copy invoices, altered invoices, invoices not addressed to Clare County Council. To be considered valid, an invoice must also quote a purchase order, which has been given to the supplier at the time of goods and services being ordered by a particular section within Clare County Council.

Invalid invoices

Should an invoice fail to comply with the above requirement for a valid invoice, it will be deemed to be invalid and will be returned to the supplier, with a notification identifying the reason for return.

Invoices received which do not quote a valid purchase order number will be immediately returned to the supplier without being processed.

Invoices received which quote a purchase order number, but where the number is found to be invalid (e.g. the number used relates to a previous order, which has been fully paid out on), the invoice will be deemed invalid, and immediately returned to the supplier without being processed.

Role of our suppliers

Please ensure the following details are provided in all contacts with Clare County Council:

  1. The name of the business or company you represent
  2. Unique invoice number
  3. Correct Clare County Council Purchase Order number
  4. The name and contact details of the section within Clare County Council which placed the order - point of contact
  5. The date of the invoice
  6. The amount of the invoice
  7. The invoice address
  8. A description of the goods or service provided to the county council
  9. Suppliers based outside of the Republic of Ireland should include the weight of goods on their invoices (for the purpose of Department of Finance returns on foreign goods)
  10. The invoice must be addressed to Clare County Council.

Clare County Council can only pay invoices once the goods and/or services have been received. Copy of proof of delivery (delivery docket where applicable) should be forwarded to the relevant section of the council (section which placed the order and which gave the supplier a valid purchase order number) before an invoice is submitted.

The supplier should ensure that they co-ordinate effectively with the section within the council from which any order emanates, so as to ensure that all necessary delivery dockets have been submitted, and that details on the invoice being submitted to accounts payable for payment are correct and match the original order, so as to help expedite payment.

Valid Invoices should be submitted to Accounts Payable, Finance, Clare County Council for payment and not to individual sections within the Council from which orders emanate.

How we will deal with disputed invoices or seek clarification?

If Clare County Council receives an invoice where there is a dispute or an issue to be clarified concerning the amount or detail on the invoice, the section in the council which placed the order will contact the supplier immediately (both by phone and in writing) setting out the following details:

  1. The date and the invoice number that the dispute is related to
  2. The amount in dispute
  3. The nature and reason for the dispute
  4. Any supporting documentation available

Contacts

If you have any queries in relation to your invoice after it has been submitted please contact the Accounts Payable team on (065) 6846440 or (065) 6846515.

Queries in relation to Purchase Order numbers should be directed to the Section of the County Council with whom you have placed the order.

Complaints

If, as a supplier to Clare County Council, you are not happy with the quality of the service you have received from the council, or wish to complain about a late payment received, you should contact us directly. We welcome all feedback and will deal with your complaints/queries/suggestions in a timely and confidential manner.

The steps to follow are set out below:

  • Step 1: Make direct contact (in writing/by telephone/e-mail) with the person/section with whom you have been dealing in Clare County Council and outline in as much detail as possible the nature of your complaint.
  • Step 2: If you are not satisfied with the response received from the above, you should contact:

    Kieran O'Donnell
    Customer Care Co-Ordinator
    Corporate Services Section,
    Clare County Council
    New Road
    Ennis
    Co. Clare
    Tel: (065) 6846200

  • Step 3: If you are still not satisfied with the response you receive you may contact Carmel Greene, she will give further consideration to your complaint:

    Ann Reynolds,
    Senior Executive Officer
    Corporate Services Section,
    Clare County Council
    New Road
    Ennis
    Co. Clare
    Tel: (065) 6821616

  • Step 4: If, after you have been through the council’s procedures and you are still not satisfied with our response, you can contact the Office of the Ombudsman. By law, the Ombudsman can investigate complaints about any of our administrative actions or procedures as well as delays or inaction in our dealings with you.The Ombudsman provides a free, impartial and independent dispute resolution service. Contact details are as follows:

    Office of the Ombudsman,
    18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
    Lo-call 1890 22 30 30
    Tel: (01) 6395600
    Fax: (01) 6395674
    Email: ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.ie
    Website: http://www.ombudsman.ie

Prompt payment records

Publication of purchase orders over €20k

Supplier setup form

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Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 19/06/18