Erica Bosio, a researcher at the World Bank Group, Greta Polo, a private sector development analyst at the World Bank and Vinay Sharma, global director of solutions and innovations in procurement at the World Bank’s governance global practice give their take on how to speed up the payment of public contracts and relieve struggling firms during COVID-19. “Paying the private sector on time for work already done is not just about having cash on hand. It also prevents companies from taking up further debt in order to survive. The evidence is clear: the faster the government pays its dues, the fewer firms need a loan,” the article says. “However, speed is not always characteristic of the public sector when it comes to paying bills … Many countries have tried to incentivise prompt payment of government invoices by introducing penalties for overdues in their procurement law … Such incentives, however, have seldom worked …” Read their full remarks here.