BUILDING contractors are due a reported €200 million in repayments for jobs carried out for the state, with some reporting deliberate delays in inspecting the work in order to postpone payment further.
According to the head of the Federation of Associations of Building Contractors Cyprus (OSEOK), Nicos Kelepeshis, these delays have been taking place for a long time.
“The truth is we have been facing delays from the various authorities for a while now,” Kelepeshis told state broadcaster CyBC. “This isn’t something new; we are talking about final payments and settling of bills for work that was carried out and passed through the inspections, and for which an order was issued for payment.”
Money owed since 2008
He added, “We have examples that have taken years”.
Kelepeshis said things got much worse with the economic crisis. “We have money owed from 2008 until 2011, with the amounts being very high.”
In addition, contractors are also owed a lot of money in claims.
Asked to comment on reports that inspectors were given orders to delay checks so as to delay payments, Kelepeshis said: “We have such information, yes. It is clear that EU directives and the new law are being violated, concerning payment by the public sector to third parties. The 30 days that are provided by law (for settling public sector bills) have been surpassed for a while now, as have the 60 and 65 days. Now we are seeing 90 to 120 days, for a finished job to be paid for.”