The ABCC Commissioner has published details of non-compliance by Victorian-based company ASI Electrics Pty Ltd, for breaching the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016 (Cth) (the Code) after it failed to pay a subcontractor on time and breached security of payment laws.

The non-compliance follows ASI’s failure to pay the subcontractor by the due date the outstanding amount of $62,671.70 for work it had undertaken on the CSIRO LED Lighting Upgrades project at the University of Adelaide Waite Campus in March 2019.

In May 2019, the subcontractor served ASI with a payment claim. Rather than pay the amount, ASI made a partial payment of $23,260.30 within the required timeframe and withheld the remaining balance of $62,671.70.

The subcontractor approached the ABCC following ASI’s failure to pay the outstanding amount.

Following the ABCC’s intervention, ASI paid the outstanding amount, along with $7,925.82 in interest after the ABCC issued a compliance notice requiring it to do so. ASI breached sections 11D(1)(a), 11D(1)(b) and 11D(1)(d) of the Code when it failed to:

  • serve a payment schedule within 15 business days of receipt of the subcontractor’s claim.
  • ensure payments, which were due and payable by ASI were made in a timely manner and were not unreasonably withheld; and
  • resolve its payment dispute with the subcontractor within a reasonable timeframe and in a cooperative manner.

ASI has since undertaken measures to prevent similar breaches from occurring. These include:

  • conducting training with its employees to comply with the Code and the processes set in the SA Security of Payment Act relating to the procedures and timeframes for payment claims and payment schedules.
  • adopting a new template subcontract agreement for future use.

The ABCC stands ready to assist subcontractors who have been underpaid or not paid in a timely manner for work they have undertaken.

If you are experiencing disputed or delayed payments from a Code covered entity, you can call the ABCC on 1800 003 338 for free advice and assistance.

For more details on the Code non-compliance notice visit the Sanctions page on the ABCC’s website.