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3.2 Contents Checklist

Some Government agencies use “short form” contracts to reduce the costs to themselves and suppliers where there are relatively small amounts of money involved, reserving “long form” contracts for significant amounts of money (or particularly significant risks).

It is important to think about how the contractual documentation is presented, in terms of both clarity and compliance cost. Many organisations use standard terms for parts of contracts that they do not expect to vary from contract to contract. This can reduce uncertainty and negotiating costs for both the Government agency and the NGO. Having such standard terms annexed to, or a separate part of a contract can also significantly reduce the size of the balance of the contract.

Item Description
1   Parties
– who is the contract between?
Identification of the legal parties to the contract
2   Introduction/Preamble
– what is the contract about?
  • The purpose of the contract
  • This could include a discussion of the objectives/outcomes the contract is intended to contribute to (alternatively this could be in the service definition section)
  • This could include a definition of terms if necessary (or this could be an annex)
3   Duration
– how long is the contract?
  • Term of contract, and any related information. Could be included in the Introduction or Service Definition
4   Service Definitions
– what is being delivered?

Scope of services to be provided, including quantity and quality.  The latter may include (where relevant) specific information on:

  • Location
  • Timing
  • Client eligibility
  • Accreditation requirements
  • Skills of staff
  • Quality of premises and equipment
  • Statements on why the NGO is able to offer culturally appropriate services
  • Relevant regulatory requirements
  • Client satisfaction surveys
  • Purchaser reviews
5   Payment
– in return for what payment?
  • What is the basis for payment?
  • A payment schedule (i.e. at what points will payments be made?).
  • Variations to payment (including the circumstances in which payments may be withheld).
  • NO PAYMENT SHOULD BE MADE BEFORE A CONTRACT IS SIGNED
6   Information and Relationship Management
  • Any expected meetings/visits
  • Contact people
  • Information to be recorded
  • Information (including reports) to be supplied to the purchaser by the provider
  • Information (including reports) to be supplied to the provider by the purchaser
  • Reporting intervals
  • Recordkeeping policies, practices and standards
  • Procedures for Ad hoc reporting
  • Notification – where? how? who?
  • Co-operation with evaluation or audit
7   Variation
– what if you need to change the contents of the contract?
  • What happens when the contract needs to be modified?
  • Provision for changing the terms of the contract or activating contingencies provided for in the contract
  • Process to be followed including consultation and notification
8   Disputes
– what happens if the parties disagree?
  • How disputes will be dealt with
  • Notification, consultation procedures
  • Dispute resolution (informal, mediation? arbitration?)
  • Termination of contract
  • Liability for debts
  • Compensation
9   General contractual obligations

Matters common to all contracts, or all contracts of a similar type entered into by the agency. May include elements listed above. Other potential examples:

  • Treaty of Waitangi (e.g consultation with Maori is recognised in policy and processes and also occurs outside of contractual arrangements; services delivered are culturally appropriate)
  • Good employer requirements[10] (e.g. ethics and integrity; offering training and development opportunities, observance of EEO principles and opportunities).
  • Requirements to offer culturally appropriate services
  • Service delivery ethics
  • Public sector ethics and codes of conduct
  • Use of sub-contractors
  • Ownership of assets or intellectual property created (in some sectors this may need to be tailored to particular contracts)
  • Relationships with purchaser (may be covered by 6 above)
  • Confidentiality (including any privacy issues)
  • NZ law to apply
  • Linkages with other providers
  • Survival of any terms past the expiry of the contract
  • Contract for service rather than contract of service (i.e. the NGO or its staff do not become employees)

Notes

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