Contracts and Computers: Getting Your Bytes Without Getting Bitten


  • John W. Christian
  • Richard H. Keifer
  • Scott C. Stone


Contract, licensing agreement, Request for Proposal, vendor, terms of payment, penalties.


Purchasing a large computer system on a contractual basis may present many problems, inevitably at the worst possible time. Some of these problems are more than irritations-they cost time, money, and cause considerable organizational stress. Some problems may be avoided by carefully considering and detailing agency computer needs and then executing the right contract.

The Suburban Hennepin Regional Park District has recently purchased a large computer system and discovered that the contract was both a help and a hindrance during the installation process. This paper deals with some of the contractual details impacting the installation. It briefly covers formulation of the Requirements for Proposal document (RFP) as well as the contract itself, which uses the RFP as its base document.?





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