Key Things to Remember
- Allow Yourself Enough Time to Complete the Contracting Process
- Scope of Work
- All Non-Standard, Vendor or Revised Contracts Must Be Reviewed by the Office of General Counsel (OGC)
- Contracts Can be Emailed to the Vendor to Facilitate Full Execution
- Contracts Can Be Amended, But There Are Limitations
- Contracting Efficiencies
- Limit Handwriting on Contracts
Allow Yourself Enough Time to Complete the Contracting Process
- Departments should have all standard contract documents in order and submitted for UHD authorized signature at least 10 business days prior to the contract start date for services if using an OGC standard form of agreement.
- The contract must be fully executed on or before the date services begin.
- Texas Market Place ($25,000 or more): Expect the procurement process to take a minimum of 30 calendar days prior to the start date of services.
- Consulting contracts over $25,000 must be published in the Texas Register a minimum of 30 days prior to execution of the contract (Processed through the Office of General Counsel)
Scope of Work
The statement of services should be detailed enough so that all parties to the contract know exactly what is expected. If necessary, an "APPENDIX A" can be referenced along with a brief description in the body of the contact and attached to the contract to detail the "scope of work".
All Non-Standard, Vendor or Revised Contracts Must Be Reviewed by the Office of General Counsel (OGC)
- OGC is allowed 20 business days prior to the contract start date to review the contract, but in some instances, contract negotiations may take longer.
- Allow enough time for the contract to be approved, revised and be fully executed by the contract start date.
- You cannot add to, change or delete the terms of an OGC approved contract.
Contracts Can be Emailed to the Vendor to Facilitate Full Execution
- Be sure to forward a scanned copy of the completed contract to the vendor. Never forward a contract form that can be altered.
- Be sure a fully executed contract is:
- Returned to the vendor
- Forwarded to Contract Administration
- Maintained in your office file
Contracts Can Be Amended, But There Are Limitations
- The contract must still be in effect. You cannot amend an expired contract.
- In general, you can increase the dollar value of the contract by 25%. Beyond that dollar value, you are more than likely contracting for a substantially different scope of work.
- The amendment must go through the same process as the original contract.
- The amendment must be executed by the same signatories or same signatory position.
- Take every opportunity to use the Standard Contract Addendum - If we are being asked to sign the vendor's contract (and the vendor is not a state agency), regardless of the dollar value of the contract, ask if he or she is willing to sign the Standard Contract Addendum. If "No," ask what language in the addendum is an issue and what can be done to resolve that issue. Some clauses can be revised to become acceptable to all parties executing the contract.
If the vendor agrees to sign the Standard Contract Addendum:
No OGC review is required if:
- The contract is for services,
- The contract is valued at less than $50,000,
- The contract does not have a clause that supersedes any portion of the Addendum or the vendor presents a revised contract that excludes this clause, and
- There are no requested changes to the Standard Contract Addendum
If the Addendum can be used and the vendor agrees to sign it, the department will handle the full execution of the non-standard/vendor contract and the Standard Contract Addendum. The department must:
- Retain a copy of the agreement, Addendum, Contract Cover Sheet and any other documents/information required by UHD/UHS policies (e.g., bid/award documentation/memo demonstrating "best value")
- Forward a fully executed contract package to the Contract Administration Office. We will maintain a file of all supporting documents forwarded with the executed contract.
OGC review is required, but is processed more efficiently if:
- The contract is valued at $50,000 or more,
- The contract has a clause that supersedes any portion of the Addendum, and/or
- The vendor has requested changes to the Standard Contract Addendum
Contracts that require OGC review will be processed through the UHD Contract Administration office.
- Consider multiple year contracting if you contract for the same service from the same vendor on an annual basis. You can sign contracts for up to five (5) years.
Limit Handwriting on Contracts
A contract is a legal document. Other than initialing OGC revisions, the signature and the date, there should be no hand written changes to the contract.