Contract Management in long term or complex projects



This guidance document provides practical support for those involved in managing contracts within a complex project environment. It addresses the key commercial principles and associated contractual provisions, mechanisms and remedies aimed at helping to ensure value for money in long term or complex services contracts.


The guidance is aimed at senior responsible owners, procurers, contract managers, and other senior commercial staff. It aims to help ensure that their contracts (especially those which are complex, of longer duration, or where there is some level of uncertainty), contain provisions which help to ensure value for money during the contract term, and that the provisions are implemented and exercised as appropriate.

The guidance needs to be considered at the following stages of the procurement process:

  • pre-procurement - as part of developing a strategy for the preferred commercial arrangements; during the development of the ITT or ITP, when contractual terms and conditions, and the commercial aspects of the contract are developed;
  • competition - to inform dialogue with bidders (competitive dialogue process only) or to help refine the invitation to tender and contract documents
  • delivery - during the contract management phase, to consider how to optimise use of the provisions available (e.g. addressing areas of poor performance or incentivising good performance) At this stage changes in circumstances also need to be managed, and anticipated benefits tracked.

(How to use the guidance)