GO PRO reader feedback
The goal of Go Pro is to stimulate thought and discussion on significant issues in the profession, to foster collaboration and community, and to encourage creative solutions to common challenges. In that spirit, each issue of Go Pro will present a hypothetical scenario describing a challenge that procurement professionals might face in the course of their careers.
Last month’s question centered on a consulting contract to update the local planning document. About eight months into the nine-month project, the planning director complained about delays in the project in an urgent message. Meanwhile, the consultant wants to increase the fee because of delays and extra work requested by the planning department.
Here is a four-point response to last month’s question from Dave Donaldson, FDOR/CSE Contract Manager, Capital Circle Office Complex, Tallahassee, Fla.:
1. Weekly/bi-weekly status reports are built into any deliverable-based contract. The contract manager/procurement officer, in meeting with the consultant and members of the planning department, should be aware of all contract deliverables requiring approval to initiate work, progress of each deliverable and authorized sign-off on all completed deliverables requiring approval to be invoiced and payment made by the contract/purchasing department.
2. Usually a control form is developed by the contract manager/purchasing officer for each completed deliverable; it must be signed off by someone in authority in the planning department before an invoice can be requested for proper payment in accordance with contract requirements.
3. The contract manager/purchasing officer assigned to the contract is required to be aware of all movements (good and bad) regarding the progress of the contract and/or project. He/she learns these things via email, weekly/bi-weekly status meetings with the members of the planning department and the consultant, and verbal communications between staff in the hallway.
4. You shouldn’t receive negative comments from members of the planning department eight months into the nine-month project without first being aware of any problems or concerns earlier on in the project. That is what the weekly/bi-weekly status meetings are about. Why was this lead person in the planning department withholding information that could have been useful in identifying problems or concerns early on in the project? All end-users associated with the contract must be honest and truthful about the day-to-day progress of the project — and be able to communicate concerns, questions, etc., to the contract manager/purchasing officer assigned to the contract in the event any problems are identified.
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