TYPES OF CONTRACTS
The risk shared between the buyer and seller is determined by the contract type. Although the firm-fixedprice type of contractual arrangement is typically the preferred type which is encouraged and often demanded by most organizations, there are times when another contract form may be in the best interests of the project. If a contract type other than fixed-price is intended, it is incumbent on the project team to justify its use. The type of contract to be used and the specific contract terms and conditions fix the degree of risk being assumed by the buyer and seller. All legal contractual relationships generally fall into one of two broad families, either fixed-price or cost reimbursable. Also, there is a third hybrid-type commonly in use called the time and materials contract. The more popular of the contract types in use are discussed below as discrete types, but in practice it is not unusual to combine one or more types into a single procurement. Fixed price contracts. This category of contracts involves setting a fixed total price for a defined product or service to be provided. Fixed-price contracts may also incorporate financial incentives for achieving or exceeding selected project objectives, such as schedule delivery dates, cost and technical performance, or anything that can be quantified and subsequently measured. Sellers under fixed-price contracts are legally obligated to complete such contracts, with possible financial damages if they do not. Under the fixed-price arrangement, buyers must precisely specify the product or services being procured. Changes in scope can be accommodated, but generally at an increase in contract price. Firm Fixed Price Contracts (FFP). The most commonly used contract type is the FFP. It is favored by most buying organizations because the price for goods is set at the outset and not subject to change unless the scope of work changes. Any cost increase due to adverse performance is the responsibility...
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