Contract oversight can be like buying a car. You walk the lot and find a real beauty of a car—shiny, blue, just like you always wanted, and at a price you can afford. You start to fall in love with it, and know you should ask to look under the hood. But do you really want to take a look?
If you do look under the hood, chances are you will see some flaws. They might be little problems, or they could be catastrophic. The question is, how hard do you want to look?
In the absence of effective contract management technology, it can be hard to get a good look at how well staff and contractors are performing. It is hard to look under the hood. There isn’t a lot of information to go on, and it can be very time consuming to keep that information flowing. Everything can seem solid on the outside, but once you look under the hood, you will see flaws. Those flaws are there, whether you see them or not.
Most of the time you will never even know they are there, but when the breakdowns happen, they can be devastating. Consider the impact of these recent breakdowns:
- One federal agency overlooked a contract renewal and the security certificates for a major IT system expired, leaving the agency vulnerable to security breaches for several months until the contract could be brought back on line.
- Failure to precisely track deliverables for Healthcare.gov resulted in major delays and quality issues.
- A storage warehouse that had never been inspected was home to an improvised health club, game room, and all sorts activities that were obviously not allowed under the contract.
- A transition to a new invoicing system inadvertently left a stack of unpaid invoices, resulting in $1.5 million in interest payments.
While these are catastrophic breakdowns, the every day breakdowns can be just as damaging as they start to stack up.
How can you keep on top of things? Good contract management technology can automatically push oversight data to the whole contracting team—CORs, COs, and Managers. With ongoing, real-time oversight, you can avoid the risk of a catastrophic breakdown and keep your ‘contracting car’ in tip top shape.
Theresa Wilson is CEO of GovProcure, and designer of the first contract management cloud software for federal CORs, evaluators, and managers. To find out more about how GovProcure can help your organization, please call (571) 389-7284 or email Theresa at email@example.com.