Lismore City Council undertakes Construction and Infrastructure Projects across multiple organisation disciplines, with many staff responsible for management of contracts and the associated payment claim process. This decentralised model can present challenges around commercial oversight, understanding and alignment with Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (SOPA) requirements, contractual responses, and consistency.
The process for payment of approved payment claims had also been identified as requiring updating at Lismore City Council. The use of invoice submission by contractors and suppliers was an outdated model, with recipient-created tax invoices (RCTI) more commonly used, to save the inefficiencies that occur during invoice liaison between the finance team and construction and infrastructure disciplines, and to align with modern contracting.
To overcome this challenge, Lismore City Council applied for funding under the LGP Procurement Capability Grant Fund Program FY22. The application was awarded based on benefits to be realised.
Based on the funding received, Lismore City Council has been successful in introducing a web-based programme, Payapps, to solve these issues and bring council into alignment with the most up to date construction and infrastructure practice.
Payapps allows all payment claims to be submitted through the one portal, at the same time each month for all projects across the organisation. It provides controls which give commercial oversight, align staff with SOPA requirements and give management approval over approved claim amounts.
This system saves time for project management staff, with retention automatically calculated and payment schedules and RCTIs automatically issued. It also saves time for finance staff, with only a single data sheet requiring to be printed and input into the financial system each month, removing all liaison between the Finance team and Project Management staff.
Since May 2023, Payapps is the payment claim and processing programme for key construction and infrastructure projects including capital and expended works projects at Lismore City Council. This new system is expected to create a best practice, streamlined, efficient and effective payment claim process for council.