Hi Bruce - your post and the efforts of Tim, Paula, Christine and Andrew deserve more than zero responses, so here goes.
I do like how the paper encourages us to take a different mindset to the usual "here are our standard contract terms". It's also great that it helps us think about what are the crucial measures / outcomes that we need to think about - like uptime and the remedies. It's great to have some of these issues and risks highlighted so we can include better milestones and measures of success.
As a practitioner, and I've said it before in the forum, I do worry that there's some real thinking missing when I see some of these about whole of like costs involved with data transfer at the end of the contract. There's a lot of great programs that say they can repurpose and reformat the data, but I've found that there's still a lot of cost associated with that, and in the original approach to market, I've seen few demonstrate any real cost in their procurement plans. We can't expect the IACCM team to do it all though !
I would expand to the inclusion of customer name/logo use in marketing material as there would typically be some sort of agreement prior to such marketing material being used. Maybe strike the language or amend to clarify?
• Philips India Limited
I have had experience when we signed non-binding MoU for JVs. The most likely scenario would be that the JV partner may like to advertise to the greater world that they have signed on a path breaking MOU etc., especially if these partners are listed entities. So its advisable to make it explicit that disclosing the existence of agreement covers not just "verbatim" disclosures, but other modes as well - including social media...unless explicitly agreed between the parties.
I agree with the other replies here, the NDA should cover marketing material. It's common courtesy to check the other party is ok with this being shared and customers I have had have explicitly blocked this as a company policy.
I suppose this depends on what you mean by a Contract Agreement. If you have a Master Services Agreement in place that contains agreed legal terms and conditions, signed off by both parties, then the RFP process could proceed. However, depending on the types of good or service being sought, i.e a major construction project, then the terms and conditions within the Master Services Agreement may not be appropriate, its always best to consult a legal professional before you issue the RFP to ensure all legal provisions are either sufficient or addressed.
• AJA Global Consultancy Services, LLC
Pallab, I may be missing something from your description of the issue; or what you describe as "execute a Contract Agreement (signed by both parties)..." could be the reason of my confusion.
It is not clear to me if your organization represents the buyer or purchaser side (who is the party making pressure to move ahead). But anyway, the practice you are describing seems to me as the typical recipe for potential claims. As Gary says in his reply: seek in-house legal advice.
Sorry I can not be of much help.
• Bahrain National Gas Co. (B.S.C)
What I mean by the Contract Agreement is the Form of Agreement which is generally the first covering pages of any standard Contact wherein it is stated..
This Agreement is entered into on the xth day of ... by and between ......
followed by the list of documents that together constitute the Contract and showing the precedence of documents in the event of conflict between the documents.
A blank Form of Agreement is provided as a format along with the tender documents which is finally filled up and signed by us and the successful tenderer. The format when filled up and signed, we call it the 'Contract Agreement'. This document is used for tenders (for services, construction works, etc.) having reasonably high estimates where full tender package is used to invite bids.
On the other hand, for small supply orders ( spare parts, plant consumables, etc.) a system generated RFP document is used to invite bids and eventually a system generated PO is issued referring to RFP document and supplier's quotation.
Now let me rephrase my question as - is there any thumb rule ( example- bid estimate) that could be followed as a criterion to determine
• when a full fledged tender document to be used to invite bids and finally a Form of Agreement is signed off to conclude a Contract, and
• when a simple RFP document to be used to invite bids and and just a system generated Purchase Order is issued to the winning bidder, and no Contract Agreement is executed.
• Airbus Defence and Space GmbH
I guess typically companies sign as the risks are possibly manageable ! If that approach is relational or a trust building measure is a very different question ! And I am tempted to say clearly not as imposing terms is quite the opposite to building up a trust based realationship!
• Itron Inc.
In my experience, requests or demands to have suppliers sign NDAs as-is have become the standard. Especially in the case of an RFX pre-requisite, the buyer is in a superior position of leverage, and attempts to negotiate the terms of the NDA may be viewed as an indicator that the supplier will be difficult to negotiate with when the time comes to establish the commercial agreement.
Additionally, most legal departments view NDAs as a strong candidate for click-through or self-help contracting with a strong desire to standardize and remove themselves from what should be a non-complex, straight-forward document. If the NDA provided is not standard for your business, but is reasonable on its terms - review it with your team to ensure everyone knows how to *manage the information and move on to participate in the RFX.
*Standards for management of confidential information used to be fairly straight-forward, with terms indicating that the recipient must protect the discloser's information with the same level of care as it uses to protect its own (but in no event less than a commercially reasonable degree of care). With increasing concerns over cyber-security and data privacy breaches, it's more common to see NDAs carry designated or mandatory safeguards that prescribe processes, controls and other duties that your organization may or may not be capable of providing. Make sure your IT team (or other SME) can confirm you meet the requirements prior to signing.
• Pronto Software
This is not uncommon but there is always a but. For example, is the NDA 2-way or does it only protect one party's CI. Companies are often willing to make an exception to their "no change requirement" if there is compelling and easily articulated (and understood!) argument why a change to an NDA, or an additional NDA, is required.
I agree with your thought Unlimited liability means Unlimited exposure irrespective of size of contract.
If there is no way to Limit your liability then atlast include a clause that defines a process of identifying liability. E.g If a Mistake happens by your employee due to some vulnerability in Client/Customer systems/process then is it only your fault or customer is also responsible for it ?.. If both parties agree to jointly decide on mechanism for fixing ownership of issue then you get a fair chance to defend yourself. Just my thoughts...
Thank you for your response. Most of these happen to be government contracts where one is unable to propose any changes. Do organizations that work with government customers usually willing to undertake the risk of unlimited liability? I am also guessing that there may potentially be no risk that will require indemnification, in a product supply contract or am I underestimating?
-Bid Bond is generally kept as 1%-3% of the estimated Budget and all Bidders should be requested to submit the Bid Bond of the same value, in a Bid Bond format to be provided by the Company in the Bid document.
-The Bid Bond must be verified at the time of opening the Bids. In most of the government tenders , Bids are rejected if the Bid Bond with correct amount and validity is not accompanied along with the Bid.
-Bid Bond must be valid up to the time requested in the Bid document for the validity of Bids.In case of extension requested for validity of Bids from the Bidders the Bid Bond must also be extended accordingly.
-Bid Bond should be released within 30 days after the announcement of successful Bidder / immediately if the tender is cancelled.
I like this idea. 15 years ago(!) a colleague tried to introduce 'plain English' contracts to a UK Aerospace manufacturer. It had some success, but ultimately didn't take hold. I am guilty of saying "execute" instead of "sign" and "pursuant to" instead of, er, well nothing really.
Highly appreciated initiative. Increasing the user friendliness of contracts are, in my view, not prioritized. But you are up against a tradition and practice that is hard to change, even through graphic illustrations are proven to have multiple benefits.
Camilla Andersen gave a presentation on Comic Contracts in the last local DK IACCM meeting facilitated by Ramboll. Where you place yourself in the scale of using graphics (visulisations supporting the text or a full blown comic contract) may depend on the case, audience and "environment" you are operating in..
Camilla also provided this link: www.comicbookcontracts.com/