Contract administration encompasses the oversight of the relationship and obligations between the agency and the contractor as they relate to contract performance. The contract administration activity begins with the signing of a contract or purchase order. Its purpose is to insure that the parties’ performance is in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contractual agreement. Usually, a single contract administrator is assigned and identified in each contract.
The contract administrator must understand all functions expected in this role, based on the agency’s protocol and in relation to the complexity and requirements of the specific IT contract. The contract administrator should become thoroughly familiar with the contract’s requirements and be debriefed by the procurement lead (buyer/sourcing specialist/contract manager) as the contract is handed off for post-award administration. Additionally, the contract administrator should attend, and often host, any contract kick-off or orientation meeting with the contract’s supplier(s) and project stakeholders and continue in close contact with the project’s business owner/project manager for the duration of the contract.
The contract administrator must ensure that the contract file or electronic storage location for the contract’s administration documents is accurate and complete. Documentation in the contract file should include, but not be limited to:
Should any claims and disputes arise for either party during contract performance, accessibility to these documents may be of paramount importance. Therefore, it is critical that all documentation regarding contract actions, supplier performance and agency performance are maintained and accessible.