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Administration

Contract Questions

 

What is a Contract?

A "contract" is an agreement between two or more parties that creates obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognized by law. This includes, but is not limited to any document that has terms and conditions, leases, letters of agreement, memoranda of understanding, letters of intent and interagency or intra-system agreements.

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When is a Contract Required?

A contract is required if the subject matter of the transaction involves:

  • Human performance that renders a service on campus, or
  • An off-campus event that requires facilities, catering or service specifically for UHD.

A contract is not required if the purchase: 

  • Is for commonly available goods, such as office supplies, 
  • Is for a nominal service such as a typewriter repair,  
  • Can be made through the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts or DIRect (DIR). Note: Contact the Purchasing Department 713-221-8607 to determine the availability of this option.

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When is Competitive Bidding Required?

Purchasing is required to bid the service prior to execution of the contract if:

  • The value of the contract is expected to exceed $5,000 in state or local funds.
  • Contact Purchasing at 713-221-8561 for assistance in the bidding process.
    Reference: University of Houston System Purchasing Guidelines
    (Paragraphs 1.2, 2.2 through 2.6, and 4.5)
    [Note: If the contract is valued at more than $5,000 and there is a justifiable reason not to bid the service competitively, process a Request for Sole Source Purchase.]

The Purchasing department is not required to obtain formal bids if:

  • The value of the contract is equal to or less than $5,000, or
  • The contract is for professional services, or
  • The contract is for consulting services [1] as defined by Texas law (determined by OGC) [Note: RFP required for consulting contract $100,000.00 and over], or
  • The purchase is an emergency acquisition [2], or
  • The goods or services can only be obtained from one vendor (a "Proprietary/Sole Source (Brand)"). That is:
    • An equivalent product (brand) or service is not available elsewhere, or
    • The specification requirements limit consideration to one manufacturer, product or service provider ("Proprietary" or "One-of-a-kind")
      [Note: Process a Proprietary/Sole Source Justification], or
  • The service is exempted by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (Window on State Government), which include: Advertising, including billboard advertising, or
    • Hotels for special events,
    • Internal repairs,
    • Direct publications (such as software, books, subscriptions available from only one source, magazines, journals, newspapers, electronic data, prepared videos, etc.),
    • Registration and membership fees,
    • Cooperative purchase agreements (such as Harris County Department of Education, Texas Consortium Agreement (i.e. IBM, Dell Compaq, Apple), or
    • Purchases from other State agencies. 

[1] Texas law defines "Professional Services" as "services that are within the scope of practice of (i) accounting, (ii) architecture, (iii) land surveying, (iv) medicine, (v) optometry, (vi) professional engineering, (vii) real estate appraising, or (viii) nursing, or that are provided in connection with the professional employment or practice of an individual who is licensed or certified to render the listed services.

"Consulting Services" are defined by state law as "the service of studying and/or advising a state agency under a contract that does not involve the traditional relationship of employer-employee".

[2] The usual acquisition procedures cannot be followed without causing financial or operational damage to the University. A Justification for Emergency Acquisition form is required.

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When Can I Use the Standard Addendum?

The Addendum Cannot Be Used For

  • Goods, materials and supplies normally procured by the Purchasing Department
  • Agreements for "Consulting Services" (defined by state law as "the service of studying and/or advising a state agency under a contract that does not involve the traditional relationship of employer-employee")
  • Revenue agreements
  • Contracts requiring Board of Regents approval and/or signature by the UHS President/Chancellor
  • Contracts pertaining to sponsored projects, programs, activities for research and/or intellectual property which are funded by grants or other external funding sources
  • Non-standard Memoranda of Understanding, Letters of Intent, affiliation agreements, Interlocal agreements and Interagency agreements
  • Leases, easements and other real estate matters
  • Non-standard contracts with a clause that indicates the vendor's contract will supersede any Addendum
  • Agreements otherwise not eligible for use with the Addendum pursuant to the UHD/UHS policies

Here is How the Standard Contract Addendum Can Be Used

  • Outside of the restrictions listed above:
    • 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 $25,000,
    • 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:

      1. 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")
      2. 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 $25,000 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.

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Is Insurance Needed?

Listed below is a guide to assist you with determining if the contract does or does not require insurance:

Requires Insurance Insurance Not Required
  • Transportation and valet service
  • Catering
  • Services or entertainment requiring the movement of heavy/bulky equipment on campus property
  • Assembling furniture, tents and other large, bulky or heavy items
  • Services requiring large vehicles on campus facilities
  • Services involving changes to campus facilities (e.g., running cables, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, renovation, construction, parking, etc.)
  • Services involving facilities, security or furniture installations
  • Facility repair, maintenance, installation, cleaning, custodial and signage services

[Note: Instructors working with children may require special certificate of insurance. Contracting for Professional Services has a specific contract and requires insurance.]

  • Guest speakers, lecturers, instructors, trainers
  • Training or workshops (non-physical)
  • Testing (paper exams)
  • Graphic design
  • Officiating services
  • Conferences
  • Musical events/performances that do not require the movement/set up of heavy equipment
  • Entertainment involving small equipment that can be set up on tables
  • Photography that does not require the movement or use of heavy equipment on campus property

 

Contact the Risk Management and Compliance Office (Mary Cook at 713-222-5340) if the scope of work you are contracting for is not included on the above list and you are unsure if insurance is required.

If insurance is not required and you are using a standard contract that includes an insurance clause:

  • Contact the Risk Management and Compliance Office for approval to waive the insurance requirement, and
  • The contract must be processed through the Office of General Counsel to revise the contract language.

Insurance Requirements

In general, parties contracting with UHD are to maintain insurance coverage proportionate with the risks involved in the particular contract. These include the following: 

  • Comprehensive General Liability

If the Contractor will enter University property, the following insurance is also required:

  • Worker's Compensation;
  • Commercial Automobile Liability;
  • For Engineers and Architects only: Professional Liability; and
  • For Builders only: Builder's Risk.

​All policies must contain a waiver of subrogation against UHD and Comprehensive General Liability and Commercial Automobile Liability policies must name UHD as "Additional Insured" .

The contractor must provide a certificate of insurance with the required coverage, specified in the governing contract, prior to the start of work.  In most cases, but not all, the insurance requirements in the Standard Purchasing Agreement will apply.

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Who Can Sign the Contract?

Authorized Signatories

The approved contract signature authority is as follows:

Dollar Value Signature Authority Source

Over $1,000,000 Per Fiscal Year

President/Chancellor/ Board of Regents
(Juan Muñoz, Renu Khator and Board of Regents)

Board of Regents
Policy Number 55.01- Contracts

[Reference SAM 03.A.05 - Contract Administration - Reference paragraph 6 for specifics.]

Over $300,000 to $1,000,000

[Note: Delegated authority is not given to component University Presidents for contracts involving the purchase, gift, acquisition, sale or lease of real estate.]

President/Chancellor/Chancellor's Designee
(Juan Muñoz and Jim McShan)

Chancellor/President's Delegation of Authority (See "University President" in "Designee" column)

[Reference SAM 03.A.05 - Contract Administration - Reference paragraph 6 for specifics.]

Up to and Including $300,000 Procurement of Goods and Services that do not require Board of Regent Approval

[Note: Delegated authority is not given to component University Presidents for contracts involving the purchase, gift, acquisition, sale or lease of real estate.​]​

Respective Division Head
(David Bradley, Ed Hugetz, Ivonne Montalbano, Johanna Wolfe,)

Chancellor/President's Delegation of Authority (See "University President" in "Designee" column)
President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16

[Reference SAM 03.A.05 - Contract Administration - Reference paragraph 6 for specifics.]

​Up to and Including $300,000 Cumulative for Continuing Education related contracts​Senior Vice President and Provost(Ed Hugetz)​President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16
Up to and Including $100,000 Cumulative for Information Technology related contractsAssociate Vice President of Information Technology
(Hossein Shahrokhi)
President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16
Up to and Including $100,000 Cumulative for Facilities Management related contractsAssistant Vice President of Facilities Management
(Christopher G. McCall)
President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16

Up to and including $100,000 Cumulative for Academic and Student Affairs-related contracts

Up to and including $50,000 Cumulative for Commencement related contracts

Executive Director for Academic Administration and Operations
(Elaine Pearson)
President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16
Up to and Including $100,000 All AreasDirector for Risk Management and Institutional Compliance or Director for Budget and Procurement
(Mary Cook, Theresa Meneley)
President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16
​Up to and Including $50,000 Sponsored Program related contracts​Assistant Vice President for Research & Sponsored Programs
(Jerry Johnson)
​President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16
​Up to and Including $50,000 for Presidential Event-related contracts​Director of Advancement Services & Business Operations OR Executive Associate to the President(Brian Drake, Vanessa Pigeon)​President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16
Up to and Including $50,000 for All AreasContract Administrator
(Dewana Ferguson, LaShonda White)
​President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16
Up to and Including $25,000 for President's Office contracts

Director of Advancemet Services & Business Operations                    (Brian Drake)

​President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16

Up to and Including $1,000 for Referees and Fitness Instructor contracts and

Up to and Including $2,000 for Park and Recreational Field Rental cointracts

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Director of Sports & Fitness
(Richard Sebastiani)
​President's Delegation of Authority Memo dated 8/31/16

Contract Compliance and Administration
Last updated 7/11/2017 9:41 AM