Contract Milestones

Genie: I shall grant you three wishes.

Me: I wish for a world without lawyers.

Genie: Done, you have no more wishes.

Me: But you said three!

Genie: Sue me.

In this check, DCMA wants to determine if key milestones referenced in the contract are recorded in the IMS (schedule).

Instead of performing an exhaustive check of every key milestone, DCMA selects a set of key milestones in the contract. Once that set is chosen, the schedule is examined to determine whether each milestone is represented in the schedule. If a contract milestone cannot be located in the schedule, the test fails.

What are “key” milestones?

DCMA gives guidance on where they look for the contract milestones:

Typically, key milestones and events are found in Contract Section F (e.g., CLIN Closure Milestones, major deliverables, DD-250, SRR, SFR, PDR, CDR, FFRR, PCA, SSR, SVR, IOT&E, LFT&E, TRR, PRR, IOC, FOC, etc.).

DCMA also points out that key milestones are defined between the customer and the contractor and not by compliance oversight organizations.

Next steps

The expression “where there is smoke, there is fire” may apply here. If a spot check uncovers contractual milestones that aren’t represented in the schedule, there are likely more discrepancies than the ones uncovered by this check.

We recommend conducting a forensic analysis of the discrepancies that were uncovered. A few simple questions to ask yourself are:

  • How were they missed?

  • Did the schedule author(s) have the official copy of the contract?

  • Are the missing milestones all part of one section of the contract?

  • Have the contract milestones been reworded in a way that they were missed in the schedule while conducting this check?

Beyond these questions, it’s important to conduct a thorough contact-to-schedule comparison to correct both the discrepancies found in the spot check as well as any other possible milestones that were missed.

14 Point Analyzer