I've been on the road the past few days and am just now catching up on my SAS-L
I've looked over the many replies to the original post with great interest.
One person who posted a reply focused on the same issue that struck me
immediately: the absence of a written contract for this work.
My advice is that NO work be performed, or delivered, until a written contract
is in place specifying what is to be delivered, how much will be paid for it,
and the payment particulars (e.g., net 10 days, progress payments of X percent
as certain stages of the work are completed, etc.)
That written contract should set out who owns the code, too.
The client should, if they are in fact a big company, already have a written
contract and process in place to govern this sort of arrangement. Unless
Andrew, the USC student who started this thread, "gets it in writing," he may
be very sorry at the end of his hard work to find that: a) the promised payment
does not materialize; b) he is in a nasty conflict with the clients over
ownership of the code; and, the c) the accounts payable unit at the client
will either refuse to pay his invoice OR delay in paying it because there is no
written contract/purchase order in place.
Despite the good intentions of the people who hired him to do the work, the
existence of a written contract is essential for all parties to this
arrangement. While it is not 100% impossible to enforce a verbal contract, it
is very difficult to do so, and such things need to be avoided. Big
organizations can hire platoons of lawyers to thwart such an effort.
In my experience, if a client is not willing to sign a contract, then it is
best not to work for them. In my opinion, one of the things that speaks well
for a client is their willingness to sign a contract that spells out everyone's
responsibilities to each other. As the project progresses the contract can
always be amended (e.g, to cover more work, or to extend the time period of the
contract). But, agreeing to work without a contract in hand is, as many of the
other SAS consultants who post to this list can tell you, is something to
Thanks for taking my thoughts in to consideration.
Andrew H. Karp
Sierra Information Services, Inc.
A SAS Institute Quality Partner in the USA
19229 Sonoma Highway PMB 264
Sonoma, CA 95476 USA