The AGTS Contracting Academy

How to Plan and Execute Quality Procurement Agreements

Class Summary

(based on last 3 sessions)

Watch this space for next available dates or bring this training on-site. Contact us for details. 

Designed  for employees of Arizona city, county, and state governments, this innovative program helps employees meet increased responsibilities and new challenges in procurement contract administration.

In addition to traditionally contracted goods and services, more and more government functions are being contracted out to private sector providers.  It is now more important than ever before that contracts be well planned and executed.

In this 20-hour program participants will learn important tips and techniques to ensure a quality procurement contracting process.

CON479 17.0 1.0 1.34
Five 4-hour sessions
Diane Geshwind

Employees of Arizona city, county, and state governments who would like to plan and execute quality procurement agreements through a solid grounding in the contracting process and guidance on how to avoid common contracting pitfalls.

  • Greater professionalism in the service contracting process.
  • Greater confidence when dealing with legal and ethical contracting issues.
  • Improved compliance with contract timelines and requirements.

By the end of this program, you will be able to:

  • Establish a foundation for writing and administrating contracts for goods and services.
  • Apply relevant laws and procurement codes to the contracting process.
  • Identify and communicate contract objectives through precise specifications and statements of work.
  • Apply professional methods and techniques for qualifying and selecting vendors.
  • Designate measurable criteria to monitor contract performance.
  • Improve negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Promote professional, ethical standards in administering contracts.

Note: This program uses actual contract samples (often provided by participants) to illustrate points and to use in hands-on practice sessions. Each four-hour academy unit includes at least one hands-on exercise for applying concepts and honing skills. In addition, participants receive a tabbed 125-page manual for use in class and as a resource back on the job.

Module I. Contract Law

Day 1

  • Welcome, orientation
  • Sources of law and contract formation
  • Contract performance and remedies

Module II. Contract Development

Day 2 

  • Public procurement codes and contracts
    • State and local procurement codes
    • Types of contracts
    • Source selection processes
    • Standard contract terms and conditions
    • Class exercise: “Non-competitive procurements”
    • Change orders and contract modifications
  • Defining the contract purpose
    • Using a 5-step defining process
    • Team Project 1: “Writing a Statement of Purpose.”

Day 3 

  • Contract Specifications
    • State and local government rules for developing specifications
    • A 7-step process for writing a specification from scratch
    • Class exercise: “Contract Specification Cases”
    • Writing for clarity and precision
    • Twelve steps for avoiding common pitfalls in writing specifications
    • Team Project 2: “Revising a Statement of Work”
  • Pre-bid communications
    • “Transparency Policy”
    • Guidelines for conducting site-inspections and pre-bid conferences
  • Contract development summary
    • Review
    • Contract development checklist

Module III. Contract Award and Administration

Day 4

  • Identifying and qualifying vendors
    • Identifying prospective vendors
    • The 5 criteria for prequalifying vendors
    • TQM considerations
    • Site visit guidelines and questions to ask
  • Evaluating bids and proposals
    • Improving rater objectivity–three approaches
    • Team Project 3: “Developing a Proposal Evaluation Plan”
  • Contract protests and cases
    • State and local procurement code requirements and processes
    • Case studies
  • Start-up conferences
    • Promoting open communications with the contractor
  • Contract monitoring
    • Determining what contract provisions to monitor
    • Techniques for ensuring contractor compliance and conformance
    • Team Project 4: “Developing a Monitoring Plan”
    • Using monitoring information to detect issues and avoid contract disputes
    • A 6-step process for addressing deficiencies in contractor performance

Day 5

  • Contract disputes
    • Requirements for responding to and managing contract disputes
    • Guidelines for contractor suspension and debarment
  • Contract negotiations
    • Building and implementing a negotiation strategy
    • Tips for negotiating with win-lose personalities
    • Team role-play exercise: “Negotiating for Resolution in a Contract Dispute”
  • Contract payment and close-out
    • Guidelines for approving invoices and final contractor payment
    • A 4-step process for preparing a close-out evaluation
    • Record retention requirements
  • Contract development summary
    • Review
    • Contract administration checklist

Module IV. Procurement Ethics

  • Legal and ethical considerations
    • AZ state and local government ethics policies and standards
    • Criminal and civil sanctions for procurement code violations
    • Preserving attorney-client communications
    • Class Exercise: “Procurement Ethics Case Studies”
  • Course summary and recommendations for additional reading
    • Review
    • Recommendations for additional reading