10.21 Guarantees and warranties

The following guidelines should be taken into account when deciding the appropriate warranty or guarantee terms and conditions to include in IT solicitations and the final negotiated contract:

  • Determine if procuring agency wants to specify the length of time the warranty is to run;
  • Determine if warranty is needed to prevent damage to existing resource information from computer viruses or shut down devices;
  • Select the guarantee or warranty special term and condition that best suits the needs of the agency for the particular solicitation; and
  • When considering a non-industry standard warranty, the agency should obtain the appropriate cost associated with the desired warranty; a written justification for the desired warranty and any additional cost to be included in the procurement file.

Many IT suppliers will agree to provide greater than 90-day warranty periods during negotiation, or even a 12-month for solution/development type contracts. Computer-off-the-shelf manufacturers generally offer 30 or 60 day warranty periods. Larger IT companies often provide 90-day warranty periods. Agencies should not have to reimburse a supplier for errors corrected or fixes made during a warranty period. The warranty period should start after final acceptance by the agency, while any procured annual maintenance or support would begin once the warranty period is over. For a more in-depth discussion of warranties refer to chapter 25 of this manual, IT Contract Formation: Chapter 25 - IT Contract Formation