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Why Local Government Needs Better Contract Management

    

Local, state, and federal government offices are notorious for the inefficient and even inappropriate allocation and utilization of resources. Local government usually receives particularly harsh criticism, but one of the main reasons they struggle so much is because they have a lot of responsibilities and yet are forced to operate on pretty tight budgets. There are so many issues that local governments must oversee, so it is kind of understandable why they are plagued with difficulties. In addition to a range of business, legal, utility, and tax matters, local governments enter into a fair number of contracts, often with private companies that provide citywide or countywide services. As a result, contract management is one of many management strategies with which local governments must contend. Here is why local government simply must have a solid contract management system in place:

 

Volume

Depending on the size and location of a city, the local government will have to address a range of issues affecting citizens and deal with countless other matters to keep the city running. Thus, larger cities will usually have good-sized contract portfolios. Obviously, high volume contracting requires a good deal of attention and oversight. There is no way for local government, no matter how well staffed, to keep up with its hundreds but more likely thousands of agreements. Thus, it is crucial for those involved in local government contracting to ensure that there is an organized process, and ideally one that is supported by a solid software solution. By saving all of the city's contracts into one centralized database, it will be easier and faster to stay up to date with everything that is happening.

 

Budget Constraints

Lack of adequate funding is probably local government officials' biggest complaint, as well as the most cited reason for operational failures. Although it certainly may cost a good amount of money to invest in well-designed, highly secure technological systems, contract management software is not necessarily one of those high priced items. Plus, given the potential costs of any contract breach or failure to perform, it is worth it to set aside some money from the budget for the right contract management solution. Fortunately, there are plenty of practical and affordable solutions available to meet a range of needs, and the investment will yield invaluable returns in the long run.

 

Expectations

With people's tax burdens basically increasing every year, it is understandable when there is frustration with local government failures. These days, people have come to both expect and demand almost instant solutions to problems large and small. When local governments contract with firms for the delivery of a city service or construction in public spaces, it can create unwelcome inconveniences for the city's residents. It is even more problematic when the contract is not diligently tracked to ensure that all parties remain on the agreed upon schedule and timeframe. A dynamic contract management solution can ease some of the tedium associated with overseeing a busy portfolio, which of course helps ensure that things stay on track as much as possible, without undue disruption.

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