Manchester City Council

Business & investment Supplier Information - Invoice payment and dispute procedure

Prompt payment code

The Council has signed up to the Prompt Payment Code

This means that we have made a commitment to pay our suppliers or vendors on time:

  1. within the terms agreed at the outset of our contract with you (if one exists)
  2. without attempting to change payment terms retrospectively
  3. without changing practice on length of payment for smaller companies on unreasonable grounds.

The Council is committed to paying it's suppliers as promptly as possible and will try to do so within 10 days of your invoice date wherever possible. In return the Council expects that suppliers will pass the benefit of early payments on to their own suppliers.

The Council operates a "No Purchase Order, No Payment" Policy

This policy means that all Council staff are required to issue you with a formal Purchase Order for any goods or services requested from your company prior to you making any supply. Failure to obtain a formal purchase order may result in your invoice being returned to you unpaid and you being asked to obtain a purchase order number from your contact in the Council.

If it is necessary to return an invoice to you, you will receive a letter explaining why and letting you know what action you need to take in order to obtain payment for the goods or services you have supplied.
See No Purchase order - no pay for further details.

Co-operating with this policy is one of the best ways to ensure that you receive payment promptly.

The Council can also pay you by Purchase Card. Payment by Purchase Card can mean that you can receive payment for the goods or services you have supplied within 4 days of delivery. If you can already accept payment from your customers by Credit or Debit Card it is very likely that you can upgrade your facilities at very little cost to allow the Council to pay you in a similar way. Contact the Finance Shared Service Centre (telephone 0161 219 6293) for further details on this scheme if you are interested.

Complaints or Disputes

In the event of any complaint or dispute about the payment of one of your invoices you should, in the first instance, contact the person named on the Purchase Order you have received from the Council to ascertain what the problem is.

If you have not received a purchase order or you have not quoted this number on your invoice this may be the reason why payment has been delayed. You will need to contact the person in the Council you have been dealing with to obtain a valid purchase order number and let the Finance Shared Service Centre know this as well as your invoice number.

There may be other reasons why the payment of your invoice is being delayed (e.g. a Council Officer has not confirmed that we have received your goods or services or in other cases the appropriate Officer has not yet approved the payment). If your contact in the Council is unable to tell you why you have not been paid or you are unsatisfied with the response you receive or need any further help or assistance you should contact:

Manchester City Council
Corporate Shared Service Centre
Finance Services Division
Wenlock Way
M12 5DH


Telephone: 0161 219 6001

In the event that you are still not satisfied with the response you have received from Council Officers you can complain in writing to the Head of the Finance Shared Service Centre using the email or postal address above.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you can complain on-line to the Chief Executive's Department.

For further information about the Government's prompt payment code visit their website at

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