While contract oversight and transparency is a lofty goal, some folks would rather avoid it. Here is my top ten list of how to avoid contract oversight:
- Keep contract documents in paper files, preferably in piles on your desk.
- Purge your email frequently and (accidentally) delete contract files.
- Don’t keep a record of your communications with contractors.
- Don’t keep track of deliverable due dates, and don’t alert your manager or Contracting Officer when they slip.
- Transfer contracts between staff and don’t provide all the associated notes, documents, emails, communications, etc., on the contract. They won’t know what they are missing.
- Make it hard for your manager to find your files—keep your electronic files in an arcane filing system that only you can understand.
- Tell your manager that everything is fine, even when it isn’t (they won’t be able to tell anyway unless things get really bad).
- Don’t tell your Contracting Officer that you changed some of the requirements of the contract (ex., gave a verbal extension to a deliverable due date). They probably won’t catch that anyway since they are managing so many contracts.
- Store your contract data in a spreadsheet or Sharepoint site that only you can understand.
- Don’t maintain your spreadsheet or Sharepoint site regularly, and people will stop looking there.
Of course, we are not recommending any of this. If, on the other hand, you do want contract oversight and transparency, then good contract management software just might be in order.