Consultants face payment delays for S’wak government projects

Violet Yong said she had been approached by consultancy firms who alleged that the implementing agencies had been very slow with their payments, despite the claims being made in accordance with the payment milestones of the consultancy agreement.

KUCHING (July 29): MP-in-waiting Violet Yong has called on the Sarawak government to promptly pay fees and professional charges for consultancy services hired for government development projects.

She said she had been approached by consultancy firms who alleged that the implementing agencies had been very slow in their payments despite the claims being made in accordance with the payment milestones in the consultancy agreement.

The DAP representative said the delay in payments was a major concern that the state government should look into and address immediately.

“Majority of engineering consultancies in Sarawak experience late payment issues for State Government or Government Linked Company (GLC) projects in which they are involved.

“The delay can last more than six months, even a year from the date on which the requests for payment were made. This problem is mainly due to bureaucracy which slows down the payment approval process,” she said at a press conference at DAP headquarters yesterday.

Yong also claimed authorities were slow to finalize counseling deals.

She said she was made to understand that without a signed and stamped agreement, the implementing agency would not allow payment claims to be submitted by the company.

She speculated that this was because there was no clause in the consulting agreement to specify the time frame for the implementing agencies to make payment after submission of payment invoices.

“On the one hand, executing agencies rely heavily on appointed architects, engineers and quantity surveyors for their advice and professional services for the implementation of government projects, but on the other hand, payments for the work done is not done quickly.

“As a result, many professional consulting firms say they are facing serious cash flow issues which have affected their overall performance,” she said.

Yong also said that, in most cases, consulting firms have to personally seek payments for their work done by calling or traveling from department to department.








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Elaine R. Knight