Delivery of critical business activities, both business as usual and projects, increasingly means working with external partners for goods and services.

Whilst letting and managing contracts and third party relationships is common to most organisations now, there remains significant evidence that most still experience risks and issues in how they deliver in practice.

Specific examples include the national audit office (NAO) noting that a material £40 billion annually is spent by central government on procuring goods and services. NAO observed that its review of 584 contracts concluded that more than half were assessed as weak, with 12% creating a material risk of overbilling.

The risks and challenges are also changing. The increasing importance of operating in the digital space means that some of the traditional assumptions about a contract being a 'zero' sum game (one side wants the largest amount of revenue, the other the smallest expense) are increasingly less relevant.

What you should do now

You need confidence and assurance that:

  • contract letting processes have been effective in engaging with the market, specifying requirements effectively and achieving a sustainable risk/return position with successful partner/supplier
  • there are appropriate teams and processes in place for contract management
  • there are simple and agile ways of identifying contract risks, escalating and resolving them
  • there are appropriate relationships and methods of monitoring in place to ensure service is provided in line with the contract
  • payments are made to the supplier in line with the contract and that appropriate incentive mechanisms are in place and well managed.

How we can help

Our contract assurance services are designed to be pragmatic, balancing searching review with a focus on providing solutions that can be implemented across client and suppliers to achieve actual change and reduction in risks.

We deliver this through a dedicated, experienced and senior contract assurance team who combine sector, contract type and commercial models understanding with experience of how supply chain work in practice.

We support clients through:

  • Pre-contract letting reviews
  • Contract cost and operation reviews, reviewing full range of contract delivery
  • Third party assurance ( e.g. joint ventures and outsourced audit)

Further information about our services on Contract and Risk Assurance is available