The ABC’s of Contract Administration

Contracts can be administered for simple tasks or for multi-million dollar projects. The more complex the project, the more complex the contract, including the administration of the contract. The steps below highlight the basic activities for administering a contract. For simpler projects, some steps may be combined or eliminated. For more complex projects, additional meetings or steps may be added.

Steps to Administering a Standard Contract

1. Orientation Meeting

Once the contract is awarded, an orientation meeting is scheduled to introduce both parties to one another. Both parties will have a Project Manager – the person responsible for ensuring that the project is completed according to expectations. The party administering the contract will also have a Technical Advisor or Technical Representative – the person responsible for ensuring that all technical requirements of the contract are met according to standards. This meeting is sometimes conducted via conference call, or sometimes combined with the Initial Review Meeting.

2. Initial Review Meeting

This meeting should be conducted in-person and serves to clarify roles and responsibilities of all players involved. The goals and objectives of the project should be established, as well as specific deliverables for meeting each objective. Deadlines should be set for each deliverable, and the approach to the work should be discussed and formalized into a plan.

3. Oversight Monitoring Plan

The party administering the contract should develop a plan for monitoring the quality, quantity, and timeliness of the work produced. Regular meetings – either in-person or via conference call – should be conducted so that the awardee can provide progress updates and the administering party can provide feedback. These meetings prevent miscommunication and improve job performance as the awardee is able to be steered a different direction if the work is not meeting expectations.

4. Invoice Processing

Whether the awardee is paid monthly, biweekly, or on a task-by-task basis, the invoices will need to be reviewed, approved, and processed. Simple contract admin software is available to help with this step.

5. Completion and Approval of Final Products

As deadlines approach and final work is submitted, make sure that you have enough time to review and approve all work. If any edits need to be made, these will still need to be completed within the project’s timeline.

6. Contract Closeout

This step can sometimes be complex since it involves coordination among the Project Managers of both parties, the Technical Advisor/Representative, and the finance division of the administering party. Any ongoing disputes will need to be resolved, and final payments to be made. Simple contract admin software, as mentioned in Step 4, can also be very useful in contract closeout, as well as throughout the duration of the project. This software is designed to make all steps of the contract administration process easy and efficient.

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