Exclusive! How the UK Government Plans to Cope with EU Cash Demand

October 25th 2014

Dear Mr Barroso

We understand you have an invoice for £1.7 billion payable to the European Commission by the UK government. First of all, we need to set you up as a payee – please complete the short 10-page form attached as accurately as you can and return to us at the Government Shared Service Centre in Cardiff, Wales (the address is above). Please remember to use the postcode.

Yours, Ms S Kelly

Senior Accounts Administrator, SSC


October 29th 2014

Dear Mr Barroso

With regard to your question, no, it must be hard copy. We do not accept email, pdf or e-Invoicing. If you can print a hard copy of the form, fill it in, put it in an envelope, place a stamp on the letter and put it in a post box (or whatever the Brussels equivalent might be) then we will pay it forthwith.

Yours etc....


November 23rd

We have now set you up successfully as a supplier. Please now send your invoice (hard copy please) to the same address and we look forward to making the payment.

Yours etc.


November 25th

Dear Mr Barroso

Thank you for your phone call – we are not clear where you got the number from as we do not accept phone calls and the person who took the message from you has been placed on a final warning. No, it can’t be email or pdf. Please see our letter of October 29th.

Yours etc.


December 10th 2014

Dear Mr Barroso

We are sorry that you do not seem to have been paid yet and the due date of December 1st is past. We have checked our records and we do not appear to have received your invoice; do you have any evidence of posting by the way? Are you sure it isn’t still on the hall table? In any case, we would be grateful if you could send a duplicate and we can proceed with payment.

Yours etc....


December 15th 2014

Dear Mr Barroso

No, it can’t be email or pdf. Please see our letter of October 29th.

Yours etc.


December 19th 2014

Dear Mr Barroso

There is no need for that tone, I am trying to be helpful!  We have now received your duplicate invoice. Unfortunately you have not provided a IBAN number for the European Community bank account so we cannot pay. Please provide that as soon as possible.

Yours etc....


December 22nd 2014

Dear Mr Barroso

Thanks you for the details of your bank account – the personal delivery to our office by the European Commission’s Director of Finance was unexpected but we appreciate the effort. Unfortunately we have not been able to process the invoice as it does not include a purchase order number. We draw your attention to that requirement which was included in the terms and conditions document (page 23, paragraph 65, font size 4) I note we sent you on October 25th.

Please provide that PO number; and note that the PO must be authorised by the budget holder with the appropriate delegated authority levels. In this case, that must be Cameron, D or Osborne, G.

Please also note that the shared Services Centre is closed for the Christmas Holiday from December 23rd until January 12th 2015.

Yours etc...


January 15th2015

Dear Mr Juncker

Congratulations on your new role and we hope Mr Barroso recovers soon from his stress related illness. No, your invoice has not yet been paid. I’m afraid that as the Payee (i.e. Mr Barroso) has changed (to you) we will have to start the onboarding process again. We would be grateful if you could fill in the short ten-page form enclosed, and post it to us at ...

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Voices (4)

  1. I an Heptinstall:

    Maybe rather than a referendum HMG could run a reverse auction between competing bodies – EU, USA, GCC, …

  2. El-Meldrew:

    Very good Peter, possibly could have added….

    Dear Mr B. I would like to draw your attention to our compliance teams note of the xx. They still cannot find a suitable contract record for services and as you may be aware HMG are bound under various treaties and regulations to ensure that all spend above the Services threshold is formed from a compliant contract.

    We recommend that you refer back to your original purchaser and ensure that they can provide you with suitable evidence of a compliant contract. Clearly invoices of this size will be investigated for fairness and equal treatment to ensure no legal challenge from swivel eyed loons etc etc

    Yours S Collier
    Purchasing & Contracts team

  3. DrGordy:

    My understanding was that Crown Commercial Services had recommended all UK government suppliers had been informed that in order to continue to supply they were to pay a pro rata amount from product placement on any framework.

    1. Secret Squirrel:

      That would require them to be able to successfully award a contract, Dr Gordy. And as there’s no framework to extend outside of the original OJEU for a second time…. http://m.channelweb.co.uk/crn-uk/news/2377701/government-buys-time-with-three-month-ciths-extension

      Since David Shields left, it has become a joke with little progress and next to no difference made (but they have recruited hundreds and spent loads on pointless consultancy)…

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