Flemish government pays faster, saves on penalty interest


Both the government and local business are benefiting from new methods of getting invoices paid on time

Digital invoicing

The government of Flanders paid its bills faster in 2016, paying 25% less in penalties for late fees than the year before, finance minister Bart Tommelein has announced. The total bill in interest for late payments, which usually involve suppliers and contractors, came to €3.7 million in 2016, which is nearly €1.3 million less than in 2015.

Various factors were involved, Tommelein explained, including “strict adherence to verification and payment terms, improved digitalisation and the unification of financial procedures within the Flemish administration”.

The results are good, he said, but not good enough. “We recently decided that government contracts worth more than €8,500 would require an electronic invoice,” he said. “That’s one of the measures by which we hope to further reduce penalty interest.”

Wiping out such interest entirely is impossible, he admitted. In many cases, delays in payment result from an invoice being contested, which is part of due diligence in the verification procedure.