Managing the Relationship

Large councils tend to have a greater number of contractors, a greater volume of work, and potentially greater risks. Accordingly, more formalised contract management may be needed. Major urban councils will often share knowledge and procedures if requested.

Do not underestimate the time and resources required to effectively manage a contract. Feedback from councils shows this is routinely underestimated. Incorporating the contractors into council processes and maintaining regular workloads can reduce this issue.

The contractual relationship will be enhanced if contractors are provided with regular opportunities for up-skilling, regular performance reviews and peer review. It is also important to include contractors in email circulations (e.g. team meeting minutes or internal best practice guidelines) to keep them up to date with the changing internal environment.

The nature of these tasks requires that they are undertaken by someone with appropriate experience, skills and authority within the council.

Consider an appropriate mix of people skills for the contract manager. Communication skills, objectivity and fairness are important. Previous consulting experience may be beneficial.