Cleaning companies operating on Spanish public sector contracts are waiting up to eight months to receive payment of their invoices. That’s according to latest data for 2015 compiled by the Professional Association of Cleaning Companies (Aspel).
The debt owed to Aspel companies by public administrations came to €518.9 million in 2015, a 16 per cent reduction on the previous year. Nevertheless, last year both the state and the autonomous communities and municipalities increased the average period for payment.
Aspel president Juan Díez de los Ríos explained: “Payment of invoices worsened last year, due principally to the effect of the autonomous community, municipal and general elections.
“When there is electoral uncertainty public administrations always keep invoices hidden away,” he continued, and added it is foreseeable that this situation will continue in 2016 because new elections have been announced for June 26.
According to the data gathered by the employers’ association the autonomous communities are the administrations which owe most, with a debt of €242.8 million (-20 per cent), this figure being calculated up to the end of August 31 2015. It is the regional governments which are responsible for companies in the sector having to wait to be paid for the services they have provided for up to 243 days, eight times longer than provided by law.
In terms of the local entities, their debt last year to cleaning companies came to €167.7 million (-11 per cent), their average period for payment to suppliers being 168 days. For its part the state, with an unpaid items figure of €108.2 million (-12 per cent), is the public administration which takes the least time to pay, doing so in 108 days.
Díez de los Ríos condemned the public administrations for continuing to breach the Law on Late Payment in spite of the Plans for Payment to Suppliers, for which reason he asked the executive to demonstrate greater commitment in the fight against non-payment and for compliance with the payment periods laid down.