What Does a Contract Administrator Do?

Linda Harris

A contract is an agreement between two parties or entities for the exchange of goods, services or money. A contract administrator makes sure the parties employ due diligence to comply with the terms, conditions, rights and obligations of the contract. He or she also coordinates any changes to the agreement that might occur over the course of the contract and performs the closeout process when both parties have met their obligations.

A contract administrator ensures all parties to an agreement are fulfilling their obligations.
A contract administrator ensures all parties to an agreement are fulfilling their obligations.

Contract compliance is a large part of the administrator's job. He or she makes sure that all performance obligations specified in the contract are being met. Monitoring and tracking performance over the course of the contract usually is accomplished through the use of electronic document management systems and spreadsheets.

The role of a contract administrator may include renegotiation of terms.
The role of a contract administrator may include renegotiation of terms.

As part of the monitoring process, the contract administrator inspects goods when delivered to make sure the delivery is per the agreement. Depending on the type of contract, he or she might inspect services rendered or visit the job site to ensure that work is being done according to the contract agreement. Payment usually is not made for goods or services until the administrator has determined that the terms of the agreement have been met.

Ensuring complainance with a contract is a job of a contract administrator.
Ensuring complainance with a contract is a job of a contract administrator.

During the course of the contract, changes in the agreement might occur. If there is a change, the contract must be renegotiated and agreed to by both parties, and the changes must be incorporated into the contract document. The contract administrator is a key participant in this process. He or she might be expected to analyze the impact of the change and any liability exposure that the change might cause.

When all terms and conditions of the contract have been met, the contract administrator begins the closeout process. During this process, he or she must follow several steps to ensure a timely and complete closeout. The administrator will review the contract agreement, checking to see whether all terms and conditions of the agreement have been met and whether all payments due have been made. He or she will also obtain and execute any forms, reports or clearances required, resolve any outstanding issues and settle any outstanding debts.

Experience and ability to manage complicated contract structures are both important for a contract administrator.
Experience and ability to manage complicated contract structures are both important for a contract administrator.

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