Contract Management Handbook

Document Information

The purpose of this Contract Management Handbook (Handbook) is to offer contract managers, purchasing personnel and other administrators at University of Texas institutions recommendations on documenting existing contract management processes and practices in connection with the procurement of goods/services.

Use of this Handbook does not relieve Institutions and contractors of their responsibility to comply with Applicable Laws and University Rules related to specific programs and funding sources.

For purposes of this Handbook, contract management includes the coordination and administration of four core processes:

  • Planning;
  • Procurement of goods or services (including complying with HUB laws and policies);
  • Contract Formation (including scope of work, specification of contract price or rate and other relevant terms and conditions); and
  • Contract Administration.

The nature and level of risk associated with each of these contract management elements vary depending on the type of contract and the business relationship between the Institution and contractor. It is the responsibility of the chief business officer of each Institution to assign responsibilities, assure appropriate training and oversight, and monitor the processes so that each procurement achieves best value for the Institution.

This Handbook:

  • Summarizes certain mandatory statutory, regulatory and policy compliance requirements related to Institution contracting activities that are evidenced by Handbook references to the applicable statute, regulation, or policy.
  • Provides practical suggestions and best practices related to Institution contracting activities which are encouraged but not mandatory. Taking into consideration the complexity of the contract on which the Institution is working, Institutions should exercise reasonable business judgment when applying practical suggestions and best practices. Recognizing that the needs of each Institution and the requirements of each contract are different, the information in this Handbook is intended to be applied flexibly, not mechanically. This Handbook provides a framework for making contracting decisions that are in the best interest of the Institution.
  • Provides a Contract Management Best Practices Matrix attached as APPENDIX 1 that includes a summary of best practices designed to help Institutions determine where a contract management program currently stands in relation to generally accepted contract management best practices. This matrix offers a number of best practices in several key contract management areas and may be used to improve practices and to implement the best contract management program possible. The matrix is intended to assist Institutions with organizing contract management programs and leveraging technology, metrics, training and lessons learned for the purpose of minimizing risks throughout the overall supply chain. The matrix also includes a reference section that points to the applicable Chapters of this Handbook related to each contract management component.
  • Describes the duties of the contract management team, including how to solicit and select a contractor, develop and negotiate a contract, andmonitor contractor and subcontractor performance.
  • Supplements (but does not replace) Applicable Laws and University Rules. Each Institution is independently responsible for developing sound business policies and procedures in accordance with Applicable Laws and University Rules.
  • Discusses many general legal principles; however, these general principles include many exceptions. This Handbook Is not intended to be a manual on the law of contracts or constitute legal advice. Contract managers should consult with the Institution’s legal office with regard to any legal questions that arise with respect to contracts.
  • Includes model contract provisions and indicates whether each provision is essential or recommended.
  • Addresses the permitted extent of contract changes that may be made before a new competitive solicitation may be needed.
  • Suggests time frames for the solicitation, evaluation, negotiation and awarding of a major contract.
  • Establishes the procedure for attempting to determine why a single response was received in reply to a procurement solicitation.

This Handbook does not constitute specific legal advice on any particular issue that may arise. Feel free to consult with appropriate legal advisors as necessary.