Challenge

One of the Commonwealth’s most significant Departments engaged Callida to implement the recommendations of an ANAO audit of its contract management practices. Contracts in scope of this audit were high risk, high value and had a high degree of complexity and political sensitivity. The audit found the Department was not managing its contract holdings in accordance with Commonwealth procurement legislation and Departmental policies.

Exacerbating this position, for many reasons, the Department’s specialist contract management capability had been depleted to an unsustainable level. Performance management, risk management, stakeholder management, information management and financial management of these contracts was uncoordinated, reactive, or sometimes, not undertaken at all. Not only was the Department not extracting maximum value for money from each contract, but the combination of these element created significant risk, not only for the Department, but also for the Commonwealth.

Solution

Callida approached this assignment by:

  • Undertaking a review of existing contract management processes for familiarisation purposes.
  • Identifying the depth and breadth of contract holdings and producing a consolidated contract register.
  • Engaging with key stakeholders across the organisation for input and to understand their specific objectives.
  • Facilitating a series of workshops with nominated stakeholders focusing on key aspects of contract management.
  • Developing and implementing a contract management framework aligned with Commonwealth procurement legislation and Departmental policies.
  • Developing a range of contract management tools and templates to facilitate better practice contract management practices, such as contract management plans, risk management plans, stakeholder management plans, information management guidance, and many more;
  • Provided assistance with capability uplift, including defining HR policy and procedure for the recruitment, retention and training of qualified contract managers.

Outcome

Callida successfully delivered a comprehensive Contract Management Framework and supporting contract management tools and templates. The Department was able to achieve significant improvements in its contract management practices including:

  • Value for money receipt of goods and services, controlled effectively by the Department through effective Performance Management;
  • Creation of a full understanding of the contract risk profile, with associated risk mitigations and treatments;
  • Improved record management, storing reliable and contemporary records of contract documents, contract holdings, variations, communications, financial transactions and more;
  • Financial Management, in combination with Performance Management, allowing the extraction of multi-million dollar financial efficiencies;
  • Improved Stakeholder Management; and
  • Uplift of staff knowledge, expertise and morale.

The alignment of the tools, templates and practices to the newly developed Contract Management Framework, ensured alignment with not only Departmental Policy, but also with the Commonwealth procurement framework. This ultimately lead to the next iterations of Internal Audit, ANAO Performance Audit and various other forms of scrutiny, with incredible and improbable improvement recognised.

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