Value for money?

At least one supplier has been miffed by this section of a letter from Birmingham City Council’s procurement department:

“Following the introduction of Birmingham City Council’s new procurement and payments system in October 2007 we bring you some news about developments that may be welcome to you in the present economic downturn… (we are) very willing to improve payment terms offered by suppliers in return for an early payment discount or other benefits.”

The introduction of the voyager computer system for payments caused no end of problems, but seemed to be sorted out and delivering payments of time — but is getting less for their work more quickly what people want in an “economic downturn”? Cash flow rather than cash? Or is it an opportunistic tactic to shave a few pounds off?

I genuinely don’t know — what do you think?