Close Procurements

May 1, 2010
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Introduction

Closing procurements is done by notifying the seller that the procurement action is formally closed. Finalizing open claims, ensuring that all the deliverables have been accepted and updating the record to reflect the final results are the usual activities associated with the closing procurement processes. In a phase based project this closing procurement may be associated with one particular phase of the project. There are possibilities that outstanding claims and pending litigations are there at this stage. The contract would have specified how to deal with these situations.

Tools & Techniques to be used

Project management plan and the procurement documents are the inputs that are useful for the process of closing the procurements. The outputs produced are the closed procurements documents and the updated organizational process assets. The tools & techniques that are used to process the inputs to distill the outputs are couple of major techniques. These are the performance audits and negotiated settlements. A records management system is a desirable tool one should use in this process. The record management system can facilitate gathering, collating and assessing and summarizing the records into knowledge that can be used in future.

All procurement documents are collected, indexed and filed at this stage. The details of contract schedule, scope quality and schedule performance as well as any change information related to the contract, payments and inspection results are compiled.

One of the tools & techniques used is procurement audits. When drawing up the procurement management plan it is necessary that a structured audit of the seller’s performance is provided for. The constitution of the committee authorized to carry out the audits, the procedure to be followed etc, should have been defined in the procurement management plan. These periodical audits ensure that the seller is performing the activities according to what is required and according to what he claimed to be done in the proposal. The performance reports arising from these audits lets you do complete health check of the procurement activity initiated with this particular seller. These are conducted right through the administer procurement process until you come to the closure stage.

The main purpose of these audits is to identify successes and failures that need to be noted and has implications for not only the current project but also to other projects in the performing organization.

Quite often there are open issues at the end of a project or a particular phase of a project. A negotiated settlement to all such disputes is desirable. Not only for the sake of the buyer seller relationship but also that legal means to settle these disputes cost an money for the organization. Settlements obtained with direct negotiations should be tried as the first option. Most often the contract would have specified an alternate means of dispute resolution. These ADR means would include arbitration and mediation. This then is quick second option that is to be tried. It is only when all else fails that the legal redressal should be sought. But strictly as a last option. Legal disputes usually close off a relationship too. So that if you had a seller who could have been used on other occasions profitable, legal actions will usually close that option for ever.

A record management system usually is a useful tool. You need such a system to manage procurement and contract documentation and records. A specific set of processes, control functions necessary to manage and automation tools together form such a record management tool. This typically will be part of the project information management system. The system will hold all the correspondence and the documentation related to procurement documents including the contract as well as all correspondence related to these activities.

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