Contract Officers manage contracts and their execution from start to finish. They must be versatile and have a solid background in the areas of purchasing, procurement and law, as well as in the technical field of the sectors whose contracts they manage.
A well-rounded profession, technically and intellectually!
WHAT DOES THIS PERSON DO?
Follows up on contracts
A contract is defined as an agreement by which the parties agree to perform certain actions. Contract Officers ensure the contractors (or suppliers) and the company both fulfil their contractual obligations.
After a call for tender is issued, after the supplier is selected, and after a contract is drawn up and signed, a Contract Officer takes over. The work may begin with organising a meeting to launch the contract. Once contract execution has begun, the Officer ensures the obligations are being fulfilled, prepares progress reports, monitors the technical quality of the work, and ensures that the schedule is being respected. The Officer is also responsible for handling any potential contract changes. This includes, among other things, ensuring that these changes have effectively been approved by both parties.
At the end, the Officer ensures that the contract is properly terminated. This involves, in particular, ensuring that all terms and conditions have been respected and that the technical quality of the goods or services delivered is equal to the original specifications. The Contract Officer also ensures that the supplier is paid as stipulated in the contract.
What are the essential qualities?
Thorough and autonomous
A Contract Officer has many responsibilities, including preparing progress reports, monitoring the quality of goods and services, modifying the contract, and so forth. The Officer must therefore be organised and know how to work autonomously.
A sense for what’s coming next
The Contract Officer must have a full view of the contract and the work to be done. There is also a need to stay one step ahead of upcoming decisions to ensure the contract goes smoothly.
Contract Officers interact with many people at various levels of the organisation. They not only advise department managers in every aspect of contract administration, but they also ensure positive relations between the customer (the company) and the supplier.
This profession calls for a bac +5 diploma generally earned at a business school or a higher school of purchasing, procurement and logistics.
However, training and experience in a technical field coupled with exposure to contract management along the way is another path to becoming a Contract Officer.
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