Section 12: Contract Administration & Modifications

A. Contract Administration

This aspect of the procurement process is one of the most important and is frequently overlooked. The user department is on the “front line” and has the best capability to monitor and document contractor performance/compliance. To accomplish this, the following is recommended:

  • Assign Department personnel who have frequent interactions with the contractor to monitor and document performance.
  • Require assigned personnel to coordinate with the Purchasing Department to read and fully understand the contract requirements.
  • Coordinate with the Purchasing Department as soon as possible after contract award to identify the types of non-performance and non-compliance to be documented and the documentation requirements. Documentation at a minimum should include the details of each instance of non-performance such as: date, location, description of the non-compliance, how the vendor was notified of non-compliance and the name of the vendor’s representative who was notified.
All documentation of non-compliance must be shared with Purchasing. If there has been poor performance or non-compliance with the contract, the Purchasing Department will be responsible to initiate corrective action with the vendor. The Purchasing Department will also coordinate with the user department to document whether or not the terms of corrective action have been met.

The Purchasing Agent will take all steps related to obtaining compliance with the contract but will consult with the District Attorney before taking any steps toward suspension or termination of the contract. The Purchasing Agent will coordinate with the District Attorney to develop any letters, notices and other communication related to termination or suspension.

B. Contract Modifications

According to Texas Local Government Code, §262.0305, after award of a contract, but before the contract is made, the Purchasing Agent may negotiate a contract modification if it is in the County’s best interests, does not substantially change the scope of the contract or cause the contract amount to exceed the next lowest bid. The Commissioners Court must approve the modified contract for it to be effective.

The Commissioners Court may also make changes in plans, specifications or proposals after a contract is made or if it becomes necessary to increase or decrease the quantity of items purchased. The total contract price may not be increased unless the cost of the change can be paid from available funds.

The Commissioners Court has delegated the authority to make change orders to a contract that involves an increase or decrease costing less than $50,000, to the Purchasing Agent. However, the Purchasing Agent does not have the authority if the change increases the original contract price by more than 25 percent (unless change is needed to comply with law or judicial decision) or decreases the contract price by 18 percent or more without the contractor’s agreement.

The Purchasing Agent will bring contract modification to Commissioners Court for approval on all contracts executed through the Purchasing Department.

The Purchasing Agent is also authorized by the Commissioners Court to modify contracts at any time in writing if the changes do not increase the contract price and are within the general scope of the contract including changes to any of the following:

  • Drawings, designs, or specifications when the goods to be furnished are to be specially manufactured for the County in accordance with the drawings, designs, or specifications.
  • Shipping or packing method.
  • Delivery location
  • Correction of administrative errors or other mistakes that do not affect the price or scope of the contract and that do not result in additional expense to the contractor.