Most of the time, our contracts seem to hum along without too much drama. Our contractor does what they’ve committed to do, the COR seems to be on top of things, and so far we are within budget.
But all that glitters is not gold, and it can be hard to tell the difference.
Compliance is serious business. Every federal contract must be 100% compliant with regulations 100% of the time. Yet we know from experience this is rarely the case, and the impact of non-compliance can range from minimal to catastrophic.
Here are some of most common causes of non-compliance (do any of these sound familiar?):
- Market research isn’t properly conducted, and certain firms are given an unfair advantage
- Evaluators don’t follow instructions and allow outside factors to affect their assessments (which may result in costly protests)
- Deliverables are late or don’t meet the terms of the contract
- Inspections aren’t conducted regularly or ever
- Modifications aren’t issued when required
- CORs fail to keep careful records on contractor communications
- Invoices are late or are paid for shoddy work
- Contractors fail to meet deadlines and quality standards with no repercussions
In order to keep careful track of compliance, you must have on-going, in-depth knowledge of the details of each of your contracts. Given all of your other responsibilities, this can be a daunting task. Yet, failure to be compliant can put your agency at enormous risk, and leads to inferior products and services, and wasted taxpayer dollars.
What to do? At the COR level, agencies usually focus on training, then possibly a little on business process, and almost never on technology. And they do so at their peril.
Good contract management technology is the only thing that is capable of giving on-going, real-time oversight into every contract. Such oversight capability allows managers to clearly see what is happening, quickly identify compliance problems, and act in time to avoid more serious problems.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.