When organisations step through the process of contract initiation, execution, and review, they must achieve the twin goals of compliance with federal procurement regulations while optimising their performance on financial and operational fronts. Accomplishing these often overlapping goals includes contract management software that can provide robust monitoring, real-time feedback, and enhanced collaboration capabilities.
When organisations progress through the contract initiation, execution and review process, they must meet the twin objectives of compliance with federal procurement regulations while optimising their performance on the financial and operational fronts. Compliance with these frequently overlapping goals includes contract management software that can provide robust monitoring, real-time insight, and enhanced collaboration capabilities.
What Is Government Contract Management?
Government contract management includes the creation and preservation of structured contractual agreements between government agencies and private-sector contractors that provide products or services to them. Working in this area normally requires specialised knowledge and skills. Although some of the basic concepts are similar to those of commercial contract management, dealing with government contracts can be more nuanced. Generally, only practitioners with advanced expertise, qualifications and prior experience are eligible in government contract management roles. Since these positions need some specialised skills, they appear to have higher potential for earnings.
Government Contract Management Software
With several different activities to be done, there is plenty of space for mistakes or missteps that could lead to bottlenecks in the life cycle of the contract, enforcement issues, regulatory breaches, wasted time, and missed revenue. Fortunately, government contract management software can aid.
Your federal department has hundreds of deals with outside suppliers and contractors, as well as with other public and private entities. These corporate contracts and other time-sensitive documents, which must be carefully reviewed, renewed and arranged in order to comply with the requirements of the Federal Acquisitions Requirement (FAR), may result in a loss of accreditation, substantial financial penalties and a waste of staff resources. Government Contract Management Software helps to reduce risk by personalised updates on critical milestone dates and saves time and money with automated audit reporting and affordable pricing.
Support of contract teams and activities
The Federal Contracts Management Technology Accelerator promotes the work of the contract management team by collecting all applicable contract data and related documents and making it available through individual contract files. When created, the contract folder allows team members to monitor, track and report on all aspects of each contract in the system:
- Customers and Vendor Service
- Allocation of capital, along with projected and real spending on capital
- State of contracts and results
Managers have ready access to both on-going and completed work, in both individual contract files and active and closed contract overview reports. The ability to evaluate this information efficiently is important for the maintenance of productive operations and for the rapid response to audits that may occur at any time.
Dynamic Write Contracts & Easily Handle Line Items
With contract management software, federal contractors can use a pre-approved contract writing library for a dynamic contract writing process. Government regulation models and clauses, such as those used for FAR, DFAR and GSA contracts, can easily be used for writing contracts. Flow-down clauses-or those that suggest that the existing terms and conditions of the contract extend to an existing third party-are handled almost seamlessly with a solution that requires federal contractors to tag the terms and conditions of the contract so that they can be included in the subcontractor documents. Contract management software also helps contractors with the management of CLIN (contract line item number) and SLIN (sub-line item number). Priced line items and sub-line items can be added to the contract models, and contracts can be easily exported to common file formats – including PDF and MS Word. Contractors should immediately enter into contracts and collect details on products and services that they provide easily and comprehensively through contract management software.
Track Contract Payments & Delivery
Leading-edge source-to-contract management software helps federal agencies to collect virtually limitless contract deliverables and due dates with automatic email reminders and calendar updates. On the basis of the time of delivery – according to the terms and conditions of the contract – process automation can be configured. Notice dates and warnings are activated for potentially overlooked deliverables, thereby helping to deter contractors from missing crucial dates.
Contract Analytics, Search & Reporting
Advanced government contract management software includes a range of resources for enhanced contract analysis, monitoring, search and financial tracking.
Full audit trails can help track software system login attempts, contract viewing, and contract and contract metadata editing. These audit trails include time and date stamps and data on users who have performed certain tasks. Audit trails provide vendors with oversight over their contract life cycle, including the performance of workers and subcontractors.
Federal agencies using a robust suite of contract management should also make use of budget monitoring and pricing tools. They could:
- Track prices, deliverables, line items.
- Run financial reports smoothly.
- Receive advanced budget updates so that they remain aware of the approaching key dates.
Ad-hoc reports include user-defined progress reports, upcoming task reports, financial contribution reports, and more. These reports can be easily exported to standard file formats.
An online report designer allows reporting layouts to view useful details in a contractor’s preferred presentation style. Reports contain a range of export options, including PDF, MS Word, spreadsheets, rich text, CSV, various image formats, and more. Executive graphic dashboards offer a concise summary of key dates, activities and contract results. With specialised tools for monitoring, searching, and reporting, federal contractors can monitor payments, expenditures, and contract data adjustments so that they are in compliance with the government agency they work with.
Achieve Government Contract Management goals of the KPI
Federal contractors who regularly manage the performance of their contracts against clear, defined requirements can change government contract management strategies accordingly to ensure that the objectives promote positive organisational effect.
Contractors must develop contract management KPIs which are:
Contractors engaged in a government contract would have special KPIs depending on their business and circumstance. Contractors should analyse their contract lifecycle and develop complex performance metrics. Effects must be calculated on a regular basis; thus, the KPIs should be made up of qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
Adhering to Laws & Enforcement
Advanced enforcement monitoring and auditing provides federal contractors visibility of contractual arrangements through government agencies and departments. Department-specific, SAM, Service Contract Act, Safety Standards Act, and other federal contracting regulations can be easily maintained with a scalable government contract structure that provides user-friendly key dates, monitoring metrics, and renewal criteria.
The Challenges of Government Contract Management
Government agencies – including the federal, state and local authorities – are expected to operate within the boundaries of strict regulations. Although it is appropriate for a government agency to modify the terms or scope of the project while the project is ongoing, the contractor responsible for the project has the right to be paid for the work they perform and any damages they incur as a result of the adjustment. Those involved with government contract administration should also be mindful that a government agency may terminate a contract at any time. However, as long as the termination of the contract was not the result of a violation of the terms on their part, the contracting company would also be paid. In order to be adequately paid, the company must request the required settlement paperwork in a timely manner.
Also, although missing deadlines are generally frowned upon in the business world, they can be extremely costly in the field of government contract management. Government contractors and subcontractors should also be organised, well-informed and highly qualified in all facets of government contract management so that they can complete projects and conclude contracts as effectively as possible. They should also be able to interact effectively with the other members of their company in order to ensure that everybody in the contracting firm is on the same page and recognises their obligations.