Businesses happen through domestic and international contracts. Contracts can be public or private; consumer or b2b; for sale or service; short term or long term; vertical or horizontal; and online or of line. A company or government undertaking has hundreds of vendors, suppliers, importers and service providers, it contracts with. A business entity contracts with business partners, associates, distributors and exporters for selling its goods and services. The government does infrastructure development, including highways, electricity, telecommunications, airports, mines and minerals, and railways through tender and award of contracts.
In contracting, several practices are converging. One, the businesses are now marked by specialization, outsourcing and integration. This has led to a business entity getting into numerous and diﬀerent kinds of contracts. Managers are mostly managing contracts. Two, for each kind of business activity, standard contract terms have emerged, called the General Conditions of Contract (GCC). This has brought efficiencies by reducing the transaction costs but also led to 'take-it-or-leave it' approach to business. Three, the electronic medium has greatly facilitated contracting through exchange of emails, online platforms, e-stores, e-auction and e-tender. Four, computer software is automating contracting itself between business partners. The digital medium, however, has also exponentially increased the risk and liabilities arising from inadvertent mistakes.
Success of a business depends on the capacity of its executives to resourcefully perform contracts. This brings efficiencies, enhances quality, expedites projects and saves resources. On the other hand, contract failures lead to financial losses, delays, disruption of work, initiation of arbitration and litigation, loss of reputation, and other direct and consequential losses.
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A contract is formed on the standard contract terms or the General Conditions of Contract (GCC) by exchange of communications, auction or tender. The terms of the contract set the rights, duties and obligations of the parties. An integral part of managing the contract is negotiating the terms of the contract and performing the duties and obligations under the contract. The terms of GCC are legal and technical in nature and mostly inaccessible to managers. The objective of the programme is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the meaning and scope of the terms of the contract and make the terms readily accessible.
The programme will cover the following themes and contract terms:
• Formation of contract.
• Standard bid documents, tender and award of tenders.
• Online contracts, mistake and auctions.
• Breach and termination of contract.
• Impossibility of performance (force majeure clause).
• Forfeitures, loss and damages.
• Delays and liquidated damages.
• Risk, loss and indemnities.
• Condition, warranty, merchantability and quality of goods.
• Transportation, delivery, and Incoterms.
• Letters of credit, bank guarantee, and performance guarantee.
• Jurisdiction of courts, arbitration and dispute resolution.
• Confidentiality clauses and exemption/exclusion clauses.
COVID-19 and Contracts: The Coronavirus pandemic will lead to, among others, claims of impossibility in performance; termination of contracts on the grounds of breach and impossibilities; claims of damages for breach and liquidated damages for delays; and claim of indemnities and guarantees. The programme will integrate these themes in its delivery.
The programme is intended for all levels of managers, in the private and public sector organizations, in the departments including procurement, inventories, production, distribution, marketing, advertising, sales, finance, logistics and information systems. The sectors of industry are all inclusive, to illustrate, oil and natural gas, petroleum products, power, electricity, telecommunications, real estate, banking, construction, engineering goods, electronic goods, automobile manufacturing, consumer durables, drugs and pharmaceuticals, chemicals, cosmetics, aviation, broadcasting, healthcare, entertainment, transportation, and ports and infrastructure development.
The programme will employ a mix of case studies and discussion, participatory exercises, and lectures.