Monday, November 5, 2012


When the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) issued its l994 "A Guide to Best Practices for Contract Administration", it began by saying it was the "first in a series of guidebooks" on best practices.  Disappointingly, there have been no others. We're calling for a collaborative effort to finish the job.  It will take the combined talents of procurement and program officials from executive departments and agencies, and representatives from the private sector.  We think the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) should play a major role in coordinating the effort with OFPP.

To get the ball rolling, here are some salient quotations from OFPP's original work:
Contract Administration involves those activities performed by government officials after a contract has been awarded to determine how well the government and the contractor performed to meet the requirements of the contract.  It encompasses all dealings between the government and the contractor from the time the contract is awarded until the work has been completed and accepted or the contract terminated, payment has been made, and disputes have been resolved.  As such, contract administration constitutes that primary part of the procurement process that assures the government gets what it paid for.
In contract administration, the focus is on obtaining supplies and services, of requisite quality, on time, and within budget.  While the legal requirements of the contract are determinative of the proper course of action of government officials in administering a contract, the exercise of skill and judgment is often required in order to protect effectively the public interest.
Best Practices are defined as techniques that agencies may use to help detect and avoid problems in the acquisition, management, and administration of contracts.  Best practices are practical techniques gained from practical experience that may be used to improve the procurement process.  (Emphasis in the original.)
As in the case of the 1994 Guide, which dealt with the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR), a team must be established to plan and carry out this project of completing the best practices guide.  The team should conduct interviews with contracting officials and private sector representatives to gather best practices or "tricks-of-the-trade" that could be applicable on a government wide basis.

So we continue our open letter to Elliott Branch, President of NCMA, to establish and lead the team in this effort.  To borrow an admonition from the 1994 Guide: "The primary objective of the contract administration project is to establish best practices that agencies can use to improve contract administration to assure responsiveness to customers and best value to taxpayers."

1 comment:

  1. Timely delivery and quality results of any construction or engineering project can be impeded by miscommunication and confusion thus possibly doubles the cost of the construction project. And definitely, not a single company prefers to have their projects sacrificed.

    contract management process