I was recently interviewed by Raj Sharma, CEO of Censeo, which provides consulting services on procurement management in the public and non-profit sectors, in connection with a project he was working on talking with various procurement luminaries inside and outside government about key competencies government procurement officials need.
Prominent on my list was the ability to evaluate and negotiate contract modifications, known colloquially as “change orders.” For any major contract, mods are a way of life, and a staple of contract management. For longer-term contracts, the modified contract often ends up bearing only a small relationship to what originally was signed.
And the content of those modifications has a huge influence on a contract’s success. For example, does the mod water down the original terms of the contract due to the contractor contending performance was impossible? How is the modification priced? (There is a widespread view, captured in the phrase “buy in and get well,” that aggressive pricing during source selection is often counteracted by generously priced mods.) And though I didn’t mention it in the interview, I also should have added that an analogous key competency is evaluating the product or service the contractor submits — since problems in that area can often lead to major modifications.
I was taken aback when Sharma told me I was the first interviewee to mention the ability to manage mods as a key competency.
Keep reading this article at: https://fcw.com/blogs/lectern/2015/10/kelman-contracting-expertise.aspx