Francis MaudeA Government scheme to help smaller firms hit by late payment and other problems has resolved a number of new cases.

The Cabinet Office said its so-called Mystery Shopper programme, under which small to medium-sized companies can complain to the Cabinet Office, had led to payment problems being sorted out in the NHS, Ministry of Defence and HM Revenue and Customs.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: "Timely access to cash is critical for these businesses.

It is already a condition of every Government contract that sub-contractors are paid within 30 days and we want to know where money is not passed down the supply chain, whatever the reason.

"Mystery Shopper lets us find out about procurement problems and the cases published today show that our actions are having real results for businesses out there."


© 2012 Press Association