Contract Administration

Contract administration begins with the execution of a contract/purchase order and ends when the requirements of the contract/purchase order have been fully satisfied by both parties. It involves specific activities that must be successfully performed by user departments and Procurement Services and requires close cooperation, coordination, and communication between these two groups.


Persons who have contract responsibilities include:

RolesSometimes CalledDescribe
(Procurement Svcs)
Dir of Proc Svcs or Their Management Only Persons who can sign/execute university contracts and amendments.
Contractor Vendor
Second Party
Individual/Firm the user department is doing business with.
Contract Manager
(Procurement Svcs)
Buyer/Category Mgr
Contract Analyst
Persons who assist user departments in negotiating, preparing, renewing and modifying/amending contracts, and assisting user departments to resolve contractual disputes.
Contract Stakeholder
(User Department)
Contract Administrator Persons who ensure the contract is appropriately administered from execution/award to completion.
Support Personnel
(User Department)
Persons who assist the Contract Stakeholder with receipts, invoices, other contract administration activities.

Procurement Services Responsibilities

Procurement Services is responsible for:

  • Assisting in negotiating, preparing contracts and contract modifications/amendments,
  • Executing new contracts and contract modifications/amendments,
  • Safeguarding the executed contract documents within the RealSource Contracts+ repository, and
  • Assisting departments to resolve contract disputes.

Contract Managers for contracts <= $10,000 are Contracts Analysts (Contracts Team) and those >$10,000 are buyers/category managers (Purchasing Team).

User Department Responsibilities

User department Contract Stakeholders are fully responsible for administering contracts once they are executed/awarded by Procurement Services through the life of the contract. Contract Stakeholders must monitor the Contractor's performance to ensure that the Contractor provides the required goods and/or services in accordance with all of the applicable terms and conditions of the contract. Responsibilities of Contract Stakeholders include:

  • Follow-up and Expediting. After issuance of a contract/purchase order, the user department must perform any necessary follow-up and expediting with the Contractor. In the event of untimely Contractor performance, the Contractor should be notified by the user department both verbally and in writing.
  • Receipt of Goods/Services. The user department must ensure the individual that “receives” the goods/services is fully informed of the requirements of the contractual deliverables, has collected appropriate documentation to prove receipt and recorded the receipt of the goods/services within the RealSource system.
  • Over-shipments/Overruns. The user department should not accept goods in excess of those specified in the contract/purchase order unless an authorized change request has been negotiated and signed. In such event, the user department must notify the Contractor that the over-shipment will not be accepted and the user department should reject the over-shipment. Unless the over-shipment is picked up by the Contractor, the user department must return the over-shipment to the Contractor at the Contractor’s expense. For printing contracts/purchase orders, 10% overruns and under-runs are generally considered within industry standards and are therefore, considered acceptable.
  • Lost or Damaged Shipments. The user department must promptly inspect deliveries for shipping damage at the receiving location. Concealed damage must be documented by the user department. In such cases, the user department must coordinate with the appropriate Procurement Services Contract Manager to ensure that the concealed damage is reported within seven days of receipt and prior to removal from the point of delivery. It is difficult to fix responsibility for deliveries once the user department has moved the goods to another location or when inspection has not been made in a timely manner. The Contractor shall make immediate replacement of the damaged or lost merchandise or be in default of the contract. It shall be the Contractor’s responsibility to file a claim against the carrier. If damage is to a small quantity and with the approval of the user department, the Contractor may deduct the amount of damage or loss from its invoice to the university in lieu of replacement.
  • Inspection, Acceptance, and On-going Monitoring. The user department is responsible for inspecting, accepting, and continually monitoring the performance of the contract. Inspection is the close and critical examination of the delivered goods/services to determine conformance with applicable contract requirements or specifications. It includes the determination that:
    • unless otherwise specifically ordered, the delivery consists of new and unused merchandise.
    • goods/services provided are of the quality, grade, standard or any other aspect specified in the contract/purchase order, and/or
    • services performed complied with the contract and were satisfactory.
  • Rejection. Rejection of goods/services is the responsibility of the user department whenever goods/services do not meet contract requirements. The user department must document in writing cases where the Contractor’s performance does not comply with the contractual agreement. Continuing issues of Contractor non-performance should be escalated to the appropriate Procurement Services Contract Manager who will assist the user department in taking the appropriate actions to ensure compliance with the contract.
  • Cancellations. Cancellations should be coordinated by the user department with the Procurement Services Contract Manager.
  • Contract Changes. User departments may not change the contract without first consulting with the Procurement Services Contract Manager. All modifications and amendments to contracts must be reviewed, approved and executed by Procurement Services. Similar to the original contract, only the Director of Procurement Services or their management may execute contract modifications, change orders, or amendments to contracts.
  • Disputes. The on-going and continual monitoring of the Contractor’s performance is critical to the success of the contract. If you require any guidance relative to resolving Contractor compliance issues, the user department must coordinate with the Procurement Services Contracts Manager. Please remember that the user department and Procurement Services must adequately collaborate to ensure that the Contractor performs in accordance with the contract.
  • Renewals. Some contracts include renewals. For contracts that reside in RealSource Contracts+, renewal reminders can be sent from the RealSource system to user departmental Contract Stakeholder(s). Contract Stakeholders are required to coordinate with the appropriate Procurement Services Contract Manager as to whether a renewal should occur. If renewals are desired, the Contract Manager will issue a renewal letter to the Contractor (copy to the user department). Once the Contractor confirms, the Contracts Manager will update the contract records. When determining “if” renewals should be taken, the Contract Stakeholder should determine that the Contractor’s prior performance has been satisfactory; if not, further discussions between the Contract Stakeholder and Contract Manager should occur well in advance of renewal deadlines.
  • Renewal Notices. For contracts that reside in RealSource Contracts+, at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the contract, the user department’s Contract Stakeholder and the Procurement Services Contract Manager will receive reminder notices through RealSource. These contracts may or may not also include contract renewals (see the above).
  • Contract Close Out. For contracts that are not being renewed or are expiring, it is incumbent upon the Contract Stakeholder to ensure that the Contractor has met all of its contractual obligations prior to the expiration of the contract. If not, the Contract Stakeholder should notify the Procurement Services Contract Manager of any non-compliance.
  • Contract Administration Records. Contract Stakeholders are responsible for maintaining records adequate to demonstrate that the Contractor performed the contract work as required. The original contract, renewals and contract modifications/amendments shall be maintained in the RealSource Contracts+ record by the requisite Procurement Services Contract Manager.

For more information about Contracts, view Manage Contracts.

For More Information

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Office of Procurement Services »
912 W. Grace Street, 5th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23284

Edit | Last updated: 10/07/2020