I´d strongly encourage you to raise this question also within the IACCM technology network, which is a micro-community, where you will be able to get insights to new trends in this specific field and where I am sure you´ll have the opportunity to share ideas regarding the topic you have brought:
Also, please check our library: www.iaccm.com/resources/ where, you will find some articles about 'escrow agreements' for the software arena and other topics associated with risk management in the hardware world as well. By analogy you will explore ideas regarding hardware coming from best practices and escrow programs with the goal of risk mitigation
Hi Michelle - saw your post. For hardware: having a refresh plan with your supplier following a bit of a mutual benchmark, to see how best to provision for your upcoming capacity needs, might give some assurance. For services or subscriptions-based tech: having a documented 'cookbook' of key players and tech needed to recreate the service, including a list of any solutions 'not commercially available' or not easily re-purchased in Canada updated, might also be helpful to gage the difficulty of transitioning off your current tech,if needs be.
Those two governance-type processes, along with the typical supplier obligation to reasonably cooperate with any successor and to provide some mutually-agreed orderly termination assistance, might serve you well (outside escrow for software). Hope that offers some ideas...good luck. Cheers, Robin
Just in case you still need a few other pointers, consider the following:
One thing sales people understand is numbers so approach it from an accounting point of view. Since the contract is void, consider discussing the fact they will not be able to meet all the GAAP principles for revenue recognition and if your accounts folk are diligent they probably will back you up ( but run this by them - accounts - first. Companies interpret or apply GAAP revenue recognition differently ).
Since Company X no longer exists and as such has no contracting capacity, it cant assign/novate the contract which will impact collectability should the New Company choose not to follow through with what it has implied it would do re: payment
If you are required to create a new agreement using the same or similar terms and conditions, consider preparing a risk assessment analysis of the contract and let the stakeholders approve the risk they are taking on by utilizing the same Ts & Cs so everyone is on the same page. Whatever discussions or approvals were obtained for the former Company should not apply to the New Company.
the SLA should have the basic things like resolution time/ Response time, Escalation Matrix,support timimg periods,
Did you manage to obtain a Contract Change Form and Process? I have one which we use for an IT Outsource Contract and could send through to you if you can provide your email address.
Aveva's ProCon solution contains a Post-Award module which supports the contract execution process from the contract award stage, through processes such as general correspondence, management of change, management of payment, and dispute resolution, to management of closeout. To your point, you need to protect yourself from contract variations and scope changes with the ability to manage these effectively and have a clear path to understand these and approve as necessary. ProCon can help with these vital challenges. Feel free to contact me for more information.
I cannot suggest any template, but can advise the following points to be taken care of while agreeing the Contract -
1) Overstay compensation or rate revision formula
2) Discount factor for scope increment or compensation factor for reduction.
3) % of Liquidated damages, in case of delay attributed to Contractor's end.
4) Try to negotiate with some grace period even after original contract completion date keeping the original rates valid.
There are a lot of aspects to consider here, for example:
are you buying a replacement service from another vendor? if so, do you need the current vendor to support transition to the new vendor?
does the current vendor need to return any confidential documents?
are all payments up to date?
are any contract penalties (service credits, LDs) outstanding?
Irrespective of the above, you need to formally terminate the contract, confirming that neither party has any liability to the other following termination, except, perhaps, confidentiality provisions and, potentially, any latent defect/warranty claims. Simply 'allowing' the vendor to walk away seems odd: you spent time (and therefore money) on-boarding them and agreeing a contract, it seems strange to end the relationship in this way.
• Neptune Marine Service Pty Ltd
What contract states with regards to email communication and authorized representative. If the contract only states that communications shall be in writing to the authorized representative. The next question that will arise is Governing Law of the contract. As some countries have adopted the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITL) published its Model Law on Electronic Commerce in 1996 which states that actions will not be invalidated or discriminated against merely because they were conducted electronically and emails are considered as a message in "Writing"
So, make sure the message in "Writing" based on the governing law is communicated to the Authorised Representative.
For the balance checks, I agree with Steve Grange and that shall suffice.
• Yorkshire Water Services Limited,
I agree with Steve Grange. Create a formal Exit plan with the company to close off any outstanding liabilities to both parties. Regardless of each others 'mutual consent' to this. At the end of the that process formally close it off with a document. This will prevent anything coming back to bite you in the future.
• SIEMENS PTE LTD
I agree with Steve, Gaurav and Phil, They have covered multiple aspects which we have to look at before letting the vendor walk off as I believe in this case Vendor has no financial impact on them so easy for them to walk off without formal termination/closure of the contract. But from the moment you accept or let Vendor walk out all the responsibilities more of liabilities fall on your company.
• Resolute Corporate Services Pty Ltd As Agent for Société Des Mines de Syama S.A (SOMISY S.A)
I think you should prepare an official document signed by both parties to legally and lawfully end this contract by a mutual agreement by both parties.
• Resolute Corporate Services Pty Ltd As Agent for Société Des Mines de Syama S.A (SOMISY S.A)
I think you should prepare an official document signed by both parties to legally and lawfully end this contract by a mutual agreement by both parties. your message
The first item to consider is to ensure to review the Services Agreement and review the Termination and Notices Section and any others that may come in to play when terminating an agreement. Are there a certain number of days after written notification that the services agreement will terminate? Are you terminating a master agreement and any ordering documents or SOWs or either or both? Do you need to provide notice to the contractor via email, mail, certified mail, overnight delivery? Does your agreement allow for electronic transmission communication as an acceptable method of communicating to make it legally binding in a notices provision?
I then also check to see if there are provisions such as Confidential Information/Materials or any other security items that need to be returned to your company that would need to be mentioned in a termination agreement or letter. Is there any confidential information, materials, laptop/pc, security badges and property that need to be returned and when, how and to whom? These are a few of a number of items may need to be addressed in a termination agreement along with ramp down services and whether there are any fees apart from standard fees that would need to be paid to considered. I have seen termination agreements be very simple with little to no instruction since the Services Agreement was simple straightforward agreement with little to be exchanged by way of CI, materials, goods, security, property and others that can run a few pages of negotiated ramp down services, transfer of services to another contractor or training and payment of ramp down costs at stake.
You must be very careful here, as the merger/acquisition does not always lead to a completed transaction. If the merger/acquisition does not complete, the co-mingling and sharing of documents could result in risks such as violation to confidentiality as well as regulatory violations. It is often beneficial to consider a "clean room" approach where the contracts and other documents are brought into a third-party environment, or clean room, for review, analysis, comparison and contrast. If the merger/acquisition is abandoned, the documents are returned to the original owner without the other party having seen the documents. The third party clean room operator is precluded from sharing information between the parties. this technique allows due diligence to proceed insulated from many of the risks.
While standardization may be a noble ambition, achieving it is usually quite difficult. You can improve your odds through the use of mutual NDAs that protect the confidential information of both parties and by having fair and balanced agreements, but expecting all suppliers to sign them as-is may be expecting too much.
Your role is to understand their requested changes and to determine the impact to your company and whether the changes are acceptable, and to advise your internal client accordingly.
Hope that helps. Sincere regards.
Consider whether you might be able to use a "standard" and have each negotiated difference stand out as a specific change. There are a number of ways to do this. The most systematic would be to use a master and generate each of the documents from the master, with a patch for the differences. That's possible in a number of technologies. A broad example is shown here: www.commonaccord.org/index.php
• Tata Communications
We have standard NDA template and additional clauses in the clause library if the vendor pushes for Mutual NDA. This helps build the agility in NDA execution. My experience says that we are able to push 80% cases on standard NDA template and the balance needs engagement.
If a NDA is well drafted, clear, fair and equitable then it should be signed without issue.
If the client has specific requirements that are reasonable and equitable they should be acceptable to all parties.
If there is an element of inequity or unreasonableness then expect suppliers to push back. The simplest test is "would I sign this on behalf of my organisation": if not, then why expect the other party to sign?
What could be up for discussion: whether the NDA is one-way or mutual? what law and jurisdiction apply? the length/duration of the NDA and of any surviving obligations? whether personal NDAs/statements are required?
I would have concerns if I have received unacceptable terms in an NDA - it wouldn't bode well for any subsequent contract discussions negotiations.
• Health Quest
In my organization we use a Mutual Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement. I can see where there may be a need for specifics to be outlines, and in that event, I would consider an addendum as a sufficient protocol. The addendum can include the customer specifics that would otherwise present as "sticking points" that tie up getting the project off the ground.
The answer depends on the exact wordings of the variation order. Does it explicitly provides that principal can take over that portion of work not done / delayed by contractor, at the cost and risk of contractor? It also depends upon the nature of work. Generally contracts provide for such an eventuality by giving notice (30 days or so) to contractor.
An interesting conundrum. Let us assume that the change order process has not been defined in sufficient detail to address this situation precisely.
It would appear that there is scope for negotiation of a mutually acceptable outcome. The most important thing is to discuss the issue openly, as it is unlikely that there is a hard and fast rule to fall back on.
This issue highlights the importance of post-award governance and relationship management.
The issue here is more of a matter of fact. Do you agree with the opinion of owner that the variation requested by you earlier is actually within the original scope of contract? If so, the matter ends there. Even if you do not agree but contract is clear that the so called variation requested is actually part of original scope, owner can always withdraw the approval (of variation) as the 'variation' was non-existent from beginning.
However if the contract is not clear and there is disagreement whether or not the work is a variation, then it boils down to negotiation on the scope of variation and its implications.
As Nicholas indicated in his reply, this issue highlights the need for clarity in scope of work (pre-contract stage) and post-award contract governance.
• Nigeria LNG Limited
I agree with Nicholas and the other contributor.
If the Scope considered for variation had already been captured in the Contract it is clear there is no variation requirement. The issue if all about whether the scope in the contract was clear in the first place or the post-award contract governance was properly carried out.
• Kuwait Gulf Oil Company
A variation order is to do change in time or scope frame and since the subject variation is already included in the scope then u can cancel the variation and in general you are only obligated by the variations after signing of both parties .