In most writings on public procurement the procurement process is considered to include contract administration. On the other hand, contract administration and contract management are treated as synonymous. To add to the confusion, sometimes the term contracting is also thrown in, such that as practitioners we are left with an enormous confusion on these terms.
To dispel some of the confusion, the public procurement process, as will be explained here, ends with contract award, and anything after contract award is considered contract administration. In future writings, the reason for this clear division will be explained in detail. This does not in anyway lessen the importance of contract administration. As a matter of fact, the purpose of making a clear distinction is to give more emphasis to the importance of contract administration, and also to clarify areas of responsibility.
We find additional confusion in other writings, even procurement manuals, were the procurement process is said to include inventory control and management, storage and distribution, and even disposal—all functions which are more appropriately classified as part of logistics, and even supply chain management, but not necessarily procurement.
So, in line with the above, the steps in the public procurement process are those listed below and they will be addressed in more detail in future posts:
1. Requirement identification
2. Determining procurement method
3. Procurement planning and strategy development
4. Procurement requisition processing
5. Solicitation documents preparation and publication
6. Pre-bid/proposal meeting and site visit
7. Bid/proposal submission and opening
8. Bid/proposal evaluation
9. Contract award recommendation
10. Contract negotiations
11. Contract Award (signing)
After completing the above steps, those relevant to contract administration will also be addressed in detail.