Today we are going to be discussing your Contract Performance Checklist. Before we get started, let’s take a step back and congratulate yourself. This is a big deal! You have worked hard and put a ton of time in to get to this point. Don’t forget to take a step back and just enjoy how far you have come.
Up to this point you have been selling the government that your business can perform this contract. Guess what? Now, you must demonstrate your capabilities.
We cannot cover every situation that might be involved in any contract, but we can offer you a checklist of actions you need to take immediately upon receiving the contract. The items on the checklist may seem obvious to you, but most companies get into trouble simply because they fail to do the obvious.
Contract Performance Checklist
Reread the Contract.
You need to reread the provisions of the contract. In fact, you need to re-read these provisions multiple times. Recheck the delivery dates, packaging requirements, reports you may be required to submit and delivery destination. The objective here is to make sure you have not missed anything. We don’t want any surprises!!!
Record Important Contacts.
Now is the time to jot down the name, address, phone number and e-mail address of the following contacts so that the information is handy.
- Procuring Contracting Officer (PCO)
- Administrative Contracting Officer (ACO)
- Paying Office
- Government Inspector – this person will usually contact you directly. The person may be local and will work with you to get the contract completed. If the contract is with a military agency, your local Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) should be a big help to you. Think of these individuals as part of your management team to help you complete your contract.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Actions.
Only act when the PCO, ACO or the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) directs you to do so. Do not under any circumstances perform any work outside the scope of the contract when directed from anyone else. If you do, you will be liable for any costs or consequences that may result. In addition, only take the action when you have the action in writing. If the COR tells you that they are going to change the contract, do not do so until you receive written direction from the Contracting Officer.
Resolve Any Questions.
If you have any questions regarding the meaning of a provision or if you find any inconsistencies in your contract, contact your Contracting Officer immediately and ask for a meeting or “post-award conference”. Open the lines of communication and develop a good working relationship right away. If you are new to the process, ask the contracting officer for all the assistance he or she is willing to give. Remember there is no question that is “dumb” or “embarrassing”. The embarrassing part is not performing on the contract. Always, address any problems right away before it gets out of hand.
Keep Accurate, timely & Well-documented records.
I cannot stress this enough. You need to document everything. Remember you do not have any proof of what was said and done unless you document the crap out of it. The very last thing you want is to end up in a situation of pointing fingers. You know the “he said”, “she said” thing. No one wins and the relationship with the government personnel becomes strained. We want to avoid this at all costs.
Determine Internal Responsibilities.
Ensure that your employees understand what is to be done and the required time frame. This is going to help you make sure things run smoothly and that the delivery is made in accordance with contract terms.
Plan Production and Issue Orders.
Order any materials that require a long lead time immediately to make certain that they are arrive on time and that it does not hold up your production schedule.
Produce/Provide the Service.
Put into place any and all procedures that are adequate to guarantee the quality of the item and that it meets or exceeds the government’s requirements. If necessary, make sure to update your procedures and your manual.
Review Your Quality Control Program.
Review your quality control procedures and make certain that they are adequate to guarantee the quality of the item being delivered. Will the item meet or exceed the government’s requirements? You may need to update your procedures and your manual.
Create your own Contract Performance Checklist. Please feel free to copy the information from this article and other information in the work order or folder. That way if you happen to miss something, it will be easier to go back and make the changes.
In Summary Your Contract Performance Checklist
Creating a checklist to assist with Contract Performance will help keep you on task. You have worked to get this far and the last thing you want to do is fail to meet the contract requirements. Anything that you can do to assist you in the process is going to make you successful. It helps to be meticulous during your contract performance.