Contract File Checklist for a Federal Contractor

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Supervisor with clipboard talking to a contractor.
Supervisor with clipboard talking to a contractor. (Image: JOHN GOMEZ/iStock/Getty Images)

Once you’ve won a federal contract, you want to make sure you meet all contractual requirements in order to obtain the best past performance rating possible. While your contract file serves as a paperwork trail of your work, a contract file checklist can help you track the requirements. While some checklist items will apply to all contracted work, other unique requirements will require update of the file checklist with each new award.

Checklist Templates

Just as government agencies mandate use of contract file checklists and create templates for use, you may consider developing a standard checklist showing items of work performed in most cases. Leave blank sections to add other items when needed. Develop separate checklists for each type of contract performed.

Appointment Letters

Review your contract document and the technical work descriptions to identify any requirement to provide written appointment letters for specific contract positions. Your checklist should include the due date for the appointment, names of individuals or agencies to send the notification to and space to enter the date completed.

Required Submittals

Construction projects often require material submittals at specific increments of work and other contract types may include a contract data requirements list. Your checklist for your contract file should require review of the submittal requirements to confirm initial preparation of a suspense system as well as a check during contract closeout to validate completion.

Statement of Work Requirements

Review the contract statement of work and add checklist items for specific elements of work that require a review during performance. Add quality control checks, safety and environmental compliance items and required tests that must be scheduled. For an easy means of follow-up, include the name and phone number of the individual responsible for each item as part of the contract file checklist. If the agency that administers your contract uses an administration checklist or quality assurance plan, consider incorporating parts of their checkpoints in your list.

Performance Timeline

Timely completion of federal contracts may improve performance ratings and prevent liquidated damages from being charged. Include a checklist item related to segments of performance. For a design contract, the checklist might require documentation of a scheduled review meeting. For a service performance contract, include monthly projected work schedules. A quick review of the checklist will show missing file items and in turn may identify a performance requirement that fell behind schedule.

Accounting Documentation

Add a file checklist section to review contract charge codes. Specify which types of charge codes apply to the project and use the checklist to monitor their establishment and proper use. A checklist section for invoicing should include a review of submission procedures and specific checks related to contract line item funds balance and status of pending payments.

Labor Classification Information

Federal contracts often include mandatory wage rates for use. Establish checklist items to review the labor classifications and associated wage chosen for the work. For contracts requiring payroll submission, include checklist items for verifying accuracy and timeliness of transmission to the government.

Contract Closeout

Maintain a file checklist throughout the life of the contract to make the closeout process easier. The file checklist records each piece of documentation in the contract file and may be used to record the folder number or other location of information not included in the file folder. For contracts with lengthy performance, the checklist may include folder numbers or electronic file locations for each section of information. When closeout occurs, the file checklist should remain with the documents.

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