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Chapter 34 - IT Contract Administration

34.2 Monitor contract compliance

34.2.4 Monitor deliverables and acceptance

Depending on the complexity and value of the project, the agency's business owner/project manager may handle this activity, may request assistance only from the contract administrator or may request the contract administrator totally handle this activity. If the contract, statement of work or project milestone plan does not include a clear listing of all deliverables, their due dates and submission requirements, the contract administrator should develop a master list with dates and create a calendar to monitor the supplier's performance of timely deliverables.

The contract may provide that the agency has a certain number of days to accept the deliverables or they will be deemed accepted, which could be to the detriment of the project or agency. Therefore, it is vital that the contract administrator monitor the agency's performance as well as the supplier's.

If the contract requires a transmittal letter to accompany each deliverable or requires the agency to provide written acceptance to the supplier for each deliverable, these documents should be copied to the contract file, whether for e-storage or hardcopy storage. The agency's recipient(s) and delivery location(s) for each deliverable-whether it be product (hardware or software), electronic, paper or service-should be specified in the contract, but if not, the contract administrator will certainly want to ensure that the deliverables are submitted on time and received/accepted in accordance with the contract's requirements as this is a criterion of successful contract performance by both parties.

If the contract requires any specific or special shipping and transportation handling, accountability or liability, this will also need to be monitored for adherence. The function for coordinating this may be assigned to the contract administrator as well. If not, the contract administrator will still need to monitor.

If the contract requires the supplier to provide training sessions or to present a "solution" demonstration as part of their performance commitment, the contract administrator may be responsible for coordinating the location, resources, security access, date and agenda for this. Special media resources may be required by the supplier.

The contract administrator will be required to monitor new software releases if the contract includes a requirement similar to this: "Provide to all (Agency or Authorized Users) no later than the first day of general release, copies of the Software and Documentation revised to reflect any enhancements, including all new releases, upgrades, and access modes, to the Software made by Supplier, including, without limitation, modifications to the Software which can increase the speed, efficiency or base of operation of the Software or add additional capabilities to or otherwise improve the functionality of the Software." This particular deliverable may not be directly specified in the contract's statement of work or list of deliverables, but may be in the actual contract body. This requirement entitled, "New Releases," is in the body of VITA's relevant contract templates; i.e. Software and Solution.

If a deliverable is late, unacceptable or there is some other dispute, the contract administrator may be responsible for coordinating the required communication and resolution. If not, the contract administrator will still need to be aware of all agency-supplier activities, communications and status surrounding such deliverable in the event this situation would affect any other area of the contractual relationship and status. The contract administrator should obtain copies of the relevant paper trail, as the contract file must include complete supporting data regarding such a situation.