Useful Checklists for Contract Management

Effective contract management is integral to achieving your business goals and delivering efficiencies. It is good practice to manage and review your contracts regularly because it is a part of the business’ ongoing risk management.

Contract Management Checklists

Follow these general checklists to help guide you in overseeing your contracts at every stage of its lifetime.

Contract commencement

  • Does the contract manager have the required level of skills and experience?
  • Does the contract manager have a satisfactory level of understanding of the contract and of the relevant subject matter
  • Have risks to the management of the contract been identified and risk treatments identified?
  • Is it clear who is responsible for implementing/actioning any necessary risk treatments?
  • Has responsibility for all aspects of managing the contract been clearly assigned?
  • Do delegations exist for the approval of contracts, contract variations and the approval of expenditure?
  • Have all stakeholders been identified and arrangements agreed to obtain feedback/input throughout the life of the contract?
  • Have the benefits of visualising internal processes been considered?

Ongoing  contract management

The ongoing contract management section of the checklist can be used periodically. Importantly, each contract is different, therefore timeframes for reviewing contracts depend on the type of contract. Generally, every six to twelve months would be sufficient to check that the necessary actions are being taken to manage the contract.

  • Are contract payments linked to satisfactory contract performance?
  • Have all invoices, and any supporting documents, been checked to ensure they are in accordance with contract requirements and are in order to pay?
  • Is timely action taken when contract performance is unsatisfactory?
  • Have all variations to the contract been agreed on value for money grounds?
  • Have all amendments to the contracts been subject to formal contract variations? Is a record maintained of all contract variations?
  • Where the contract has not met agreed levels of performance, have any actions taken been adequately documented?
  • Where it is decided not to take action, has this decision been properly approved and documented?
  • For longer term contracts, has the contract been subject to periodic review?
  • Have any disputes been addressed in a timely manner and satisfactory efforts made to resolve them?
  • Is the contract being actively managed so that there is reasonable assurance that contract outcomes are being achieved?

Contract extension/renewal

  • Do systems and procedures enable the timely consideration of the need for contracts to be extended or renewed?
  • Are all contract extensions justified on value for money grounds?
  • Are there arrangements in place designed to ensure that probative issues are identified and addressed during contract extension and re-tender processes?

Ending the contract

  • Has the contractor delivered all required contract outcomes?
  • Has the contractor met all their contractual obligations?
  • Have all access arrangements been terminated?
  • Has an evaluation of the contract been undertaken and, where appropriate, lessons learned been built into future contracting activities?
  • Has the contractor’s performance been evaluated, properly documented, and feedback provided to the contractor?

If you need some assistance to fine tune your contracts to ensure efficiency in your business, please don’t hesitate to contact Butlers Business and Law on (02) 4929 7002 or fill an enquiry form out on our website, and our expert commercial lawyers can help you.