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Chapter 29 - Award and Post-Award of IT Contracts

29.6 Post-award activities

29.6.2 Contract kickoff meeting

A contract kickoff or orientation meeting is an interaction between the agency and the supplier held shortly after the award of a contract. It is recommended that within 30 days of contract award, a contract kickoff meeting be conducted. Attendees should include the procuring agency's procurement lead, contract manager/administrator, business owner/project manager, technical leads and agency SWaM representative (and for VITA, the IFA Coordinator, as applicable); supplier's project or account manager, contract manager, and key technical personnel; and, any other significant stakeholders who have a part in the successful performance of the contract. The purpose of this meeting will be to review all contractual obligations for both parties, all administrative and reporting requirements, and to discuss any other relationship, responsibility, communication and performance criteria set forth in the contract. Not every contract requires a full-scale formal kickoff meeting, but following award, each contract should be accompanied by a discussion to ensure the parties agree on the performance expectations, requirements and the administrative procedures applicable under the terms of the contract. The agency's procurement lead should make a decision as to whether a kickoff meeting is necessary or if a telephone conference will be sufficient. VITA's sourcing and/or procurement staff will conduct these for VITA contracts in accordance with then-current internal procedures. For less complex, low- dollar value contracts, a telephone call to the supplier to review major points of the contract may be adequate. The following factors may be used to determine the need for a formal meeting or telephone review:

  • Type of contract
  • Contract value and complexity
  • Length of contract, period of performance and/or the delivery
  • Requirements
  • Procurement history of the supplies or services required
  • Expertise/track record of the supplier
  • Urgency of delivery schedule
  • Agency's prior experience with the supplier
  • Any special or unusual payment requirements
  • Criticality or complexity of the contract

The kickoff meeting should not be used to change the terms of the contract, but should accomplish the following:

  • Review of the contractual terms and conditions
  • Review and coordination of any required insurance and insurance certificates
  • Identification of roles and responsibilities to include the parties' contract managers/administrators, project managers, key technical leads, etc.
  • Reinforcement of the contract's performance expectations, measurements and any remedies
  • Review of any incentive arrangement(s)
  • Reinforcement of any partnering arrangement(s).
  • Discussion of the project schedule and milestones.
  • Revisit and/or clarify the contract's functional and technical requirements including any security, confidentiality, IT accessibility and/or Section 508 compliance.
  • Reporting requirements, as applicable, including SWaM, sales, status, service level, etc.
  • Applicable contract administration procedures, including delivery, inspection and acceptance of deliverables, modifications, contract monitoring and progress measurement
  • Review of eVA ordering procedures, if applicable
  • Review invoicing and payment requirements and procedures
  • Restate delivery, inspection and acceptance criteria
  • Explanation of the limits of authority for the personnel of both parties
  • Procedures for escalation

After the kickoff meeting, the procurement lead should prepare a memorandum for the file detailing the items covered. It should include areas requiring resolution, a list of participants, and, in particular, those individuals assigned responsibilities for further action and the due dates for those actions. Copies of the memorandum should be distributed to all participants.