Contract Compliance with Maximized Profitability
New Contract Award, Now What?
Between now and September 30, ‘Tis the season for the Government to issue Contract Awards. After award, there are some requirements that a company must perform and endeavors that the Company can perform for a smooth transition and execution, especially if they were not the incumbent. This article focuses on two—an External and Internal Kick-Off.
Frequently one of the requirements, which would be stated in the contract, is for the Government and Company to have a Kick-Off or Post Award meeting to discuss the implementation. The attendees from the Government are the Contracting Officer (CO), Contracting Officer Representative (COR), and any other stakeholders. The Project Manager, Contracts Manager, and some Executives from the Company attend depending on the contract value. The Government should take meeting minutes to include at a minimum:
People who attended
What has been agreed to
If there are outstanding items, then a follow-up meeting
If there are any changes to the contract (e.g. reporting requirements, deliverables, due dates), it is critical that it is followed up with a modification from the CO. It bears repeating that Companies are legally bound to what is written in the Contract.
Internal Kick-Offs (internal to the company) can ease the transition. When companies have Internal Kick-Offs, seldom do they include the entire Team. Including all Departments improve transition and performance. If it’s a follow-on contract, there will still be subtle differences (e.g. contract number, timesheet codes, accounting codes, perhaps reporting, perhaps type of contract, etc.). Below are some of the questions each department can answer or obtain information about:
Technical Team—What is the scope? What are the deliverables and due dates? What is outside of the Scope? What to do if you receive a request outside the scope?
Contracts Dept.—What type of contract is it? Why is it important to know the type of contract? What are the parameters of the contract, reporting requirements, etc.?
Accounting Dept.— What are the new accounting and timesheet codes? What are the invoice requirements (e.g. date due, information required)? Are there any reports, or deliverable receipts required with the invoice?
Human Resources—Which positions are Key Personnel, if any? Are some positions more difficult to recruit for than others? Are there currently open positions? If so, what is the status? What have some of the challenges been?
Business Development(BD)—The BD Team can share information gleaned during the solicitation stage. Are there political sensitivities? What are the stakeholders most concerned about (especially if not the incumbent)? Were there any important “off the record” conversations? What are some possible upcoming opportunities?
The most effective execution of a new contract begins with being cognizant that it’s not only about the Technical Team’s performance, but everyone’s performance. And each Department plays a vital role.