Contract administration includes:
- maintaining documentation relating to the contract
- regulating change control
- monitoring budgets and costs
- checking invoices and authorising payment
- reviewing reports and requesting information
- asset management
- managing contract variations.
Agencies must ensure prompt payment of invoices. Late payment threatens service delivery and the relationship between the agency and the supplier or provider.
The contract manager should:
- monitor charges and costs against funding
- check invoices
- make sure that suppliers have met preconditions
- follow up to ensure approvals have been given and payments made.
Good record keeping helps you manage risk and provides auditable evidence of events and decisions. Records of communications, meetings, reviews and any resulting actions provide context and can be used for resolving issues.
Managing contract variations
During a long-term contract, variations are almost inevitable, particularly if the supplier and agency are committed to evolving the service to achieve better outcomes. Good procedures for variation will reduce risks and disputes and make life easier for the next contract manager.
When varying a contract make sure you:
- manage the variation in accordance with any requirements in the contract or Outcome Agreement
- seek approval from the appropriate financial delegation holder
- confirm that sufficient funds are available
- consult with your legal team, depending on your agency's policy
- have the variation signed by both parties to ensure there is a common understanding of the required changes
- file the variation with the contract
- update the contract management plan (and Outcome Agreement Management Plan) or to record the date and effect of the variation.