Guidance for public sector contract managers

In a typical year, central government in Northern Ireland spend around £2.6 billion on the procurement of goods, works and services. Good contract management is essential to ensure value for money is achieved for the taxpayer.

Contract management guidance

Successful contract management should be planned for, from the start of the procurement process. It will involve a variety of activities, some administrative (eg paying invoices, inspection of goods on receipt) and some developmental (eg supplier relationship management, and market management). 

Contract management becomes more important as the contract risk, value and duration increase. Good contract management will involve the department and the contractor building an effective working relationship, with the aim of continuous improvement throughout the life of the contract.

Construction & Procurement Delivery (CPD) has published a helpful guidance note (PGN 01/12) aimed at public sector staff involved in managing contracts.

The guidance explains: 

  • the standards expected of those involved in contract management
  • how to prepare for good contract management, manage the delivery and the relationship with the supplier
  • how contracts can be modified over time to respond to changing needs
  • how to evaluate the risk associated with the contract, and
  • how to deal with poor contractor performance

Register of Supplier's Poor Performance

The guidance note provides a helpful protocol for contract managers, for dealing with poor contractor performance - setting out the steps that contract managers should take, and the role of the relevant Centre for Procurement Expertise (CoPE). 

It may be helpful to view a list of government suppliers who have been issued with Notices of Written Warning, Notices of Unsatisfactory Performance, or had a contract terminated - this is known as the 'Register of Supplier's Poor Performance'.  


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