Contract Types and Contract Management

Contract Types and Contract Management - Seminar Presentation.pdf

Contract Types and Contract ManagementRichard FosterVGSO Seminar26 July 2007

Contract Types – An Old-fashioned ViewHard(risks allocated)ContractSoft(risks shared)Fixed PricePaymentCost BasedAdversarialRelationshipCooperative

“Hard” Contracts, “Soft” Contracts, PPPs+ “Hard” contracts include:– Construct to design– Design and construct+ “Soft” contracts include:– Cost plus– Project alliances+ Which category do public private partnerships fitinto?

PPP Contracts – “Hard” or “Soft”+ PPPs are hard money (fixed price) contractsbased on risk allocation+ However:– A 25+ year adversarial relationship is unlikely to besatisfactory– Experience shows better outcomes can be driventhrough cooperation– Experience shows the nature of the relationship canchange from one phase of the contract to another

Project Alliance OutcomesValue to Contractor(Profit)ExpectedProfitZeroProfitValue to Government(Performance against KPIs)

PublicSectorComparatorPPPs – Contracted OutcomeOutput Specification(KPIs)Bid 1Bid 2Cost to GovernmentRevenue to Contractor(e.g. Service Payments)AcceptableDealValue to Government

PPPs – Payment MechanismOutput Specification(KPIs)Cost to GovernmentRevenue to Contractor(e.g. Service Payments)Bid 1PublicSectorComparatorAcceptableDealValue to Government(Performance against KPIs)

PPPs – Modifications / VariationsOutput Specification(KPIs)Cost to GovernmentRevenue to Contractor(e.g. Service Payments)Bid 1AcceptableDealPotentialvalue-addingmodifications /variations(“win – wins”)PublicSectorComparatorValue to Government

PPPs – Modifications / Variations+ If the parties adopt an adversarial approachbecause this is a “hard money” contract:– How can they add value when they are at eachother’s throats?• In most case they can’t, unless there’s a thaw in therelationship+ If the parties instead adopt a cooperativeapproach:– How can they ensure they are not on the losing sideof “win-lose” modifications and variations?• Through robust and effective contract management+ This logic applies to all contracts, not just PPPs!

Contract Types – A New ViewCooperativeAdversarialRelationshipFixed price contractswith potential for addedvalueFixed price contractswith value fixed orcompromisedCost based contractswith potential for addedvalueDisasters?Hard(risks allocated)ContractSoft(risks shared)Fixed PricePaymentCost Based

Contract Types – A New View+ Some “hard” fixed-price contracts are now beingmanaged using “soft” techniques– Example: VicRoads using an Alliance relationshipmanagement structure on a design & constructcontract+ Gateway Procurement Guidelines released lastweek provide a current approach for selectingan appropriate contract type–See:> Gateway Reviews and Best Practice Guidelines-> Lifecycle Guidance Material-> Procurement Guidelines

Contract Types – A New View+ Contract models are now being identified on a project byproject basis:– What will enable most efficient and effective management of therisks of the project?– Contract managers can seek to enhance value, regardless of themodel+ “THE State Government is… [deciding] how to build itsproposed $3.1 billion Wonthaggi [desalination] plant.Advice is being prepared for Cabinet that will weigh therelative merits of three options…”– Herald-Sun, 16 July 2007

Contract Management – Some Issues+ Enforcing the contract+ Single points of contact+ People/firms changing sides+ Shopping lists

Maintaining value – Enforcing the contract+ A well structured payment mechanism promotesthe value outcome agreed in the contract– Provided it is enforced, where appropriate– KPI breaches can be waived, but ensure that aninappropriate precedent is not created+ Where there are no payment reductions, thecontractor will boast about this:– See the Case Studies at Where there are reductions, relationshipmanagement comes to the fore

Single points of contact – EAS ProjectCFASESCustomersStateStakeholdersDTFRAVESTAProject ContractABN Amro(Debt)OptusFinanceVECSub-contractsABN Amro(Equity)LSE

Single points of contact+ Major contracts may have many interested parties oneither side of the contract, each with their own agendas+ Different pairs of interested parties will have differentrelationships (e.g. DTF with ABN Amro)+ Formal contract communications should be channelledthrough a single point of contact+ Where necessary, define what interaction can occurthrough informal channels (as done by governmentstakeholders in for the Melbourne Convention Centreproject)

People/Firms Changing Sides – Probity Issues+ For complex and unusual contracts, somesegments of the subcontractor or advisermarkets may be limited+ Advisers may also move between firms+ Example:– Melbourne office of Firm X provides commercialadvice to government during tender process– Sydney office of Firm X subsequently advises thecontractor in relation to financing issues

People/Firms Changing Sides – Probity Issues+ Perceived conflicts can be managed inappropriate instances to enable parties to getthe right advice or subcontractors, withoutcompromising probity+ See the Disclosure and Management ofConflicts of Interest Advisory Note

Enhancing value – Shopping lists+ Some modifications / variations may not beacceptable to the other party, or if implementedon their own, the costs of implementation mayoutweigh the benefits+ By keeping a “shopping list” of these items, thecontract manager can add value throughseeking agreement for the implementation of themodification / variation upon:– It later becoming acceptable to the other party; or– Costs falling or benefits increasing.

Shopping list – Modification becomes acceptable+ Wastewater treatment project had beenoperating successfully for several years, withoccasional minor non-compliances in one area+ Contractor unwilling to upgrade plant to preventfuture non-compliances+ Contractor’s parent company subsequentlyseeks to sell the contractor – agrees to upgradeplant first to secure consent from governmentparty and agreement from purchaser

Shopping list – Costs decrease+ Contractor provides equipment for emergencyservices vehicles+ Government enquires about minor upgrade tothe equipment (requires a contract variation)– Cost and inconvenience of accessing vehicles for thisalone would outweigh benefit of upgrade+ Contractor subsequently identifies a defect in theequipment and proposes to access all vehiclesto repair this– Minor upgrade can be done at the same time• Cost may depend upon relationship quality

Summary+ Whatever type of contract you are managing, theright relationship can create a value-addingenvironment+ Areas to pay attention to include:– Enforcing the contract– Single points of contact– People/firms changing sides– Shopping lists


Contact Details+ Richard FosterActing Head, Partnerships Victoria+ Phone: 03 9651 2221+ E-mail: Web:

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