You have just been given a long-term support service contract to administer. What action should you take to get the relationship with the contractor off to a good start?
First I would recommend a government-only kick off meeting. Insure that the government team reads the contract cover to cover and the government team has a common understanding going forward. I would recommend a communication plan be developed on how to communicate within the government team and the contractor team. Next, I recommend a government/contractor meeting and once again the contract is read by both teams cover to cover. You should take minutes of the meeting documenting all understandings and concerns going forward. You should have a discussion about risk. The contractor and governnment teams should identify risk areas and potential mitigation plans if needed. Finally, a good deal of time should be spent on the communication plan to avoid UCAs. Contracting officer should remind both teams that ONLY the contracting officer is authorized to change any terms, conditions or costs under the contract. Contractor should be reminded they are responsible to notify the Contracting Officer if they think they have been tasked outside of the terms and conditions of the contract prior to performing the work. I would be happy to dialogue further at firstname.lastname@example.org