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University of Houston - Victoria

Business Services

CONTRACT Q&A
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  1. Who can I discuss contract needs with at the university?
  2. I need a contract. What is my first step?
  3. How do I know if an individual is an employee or a contractor?
  4. What is the contract process?
  5. I do not have a fully signed contract. Can I have the vendor start services and complete the contract later?
  6. Do all consulting services require a contract?
  7. Do all contracts require legal review?
  8. Am I authorized to sign a contract?
  9. Can I sign an agreement or sales order?
  10. What are standardized contracts?
  11. What are the originating department’s responsibilities for a contract?
  12. How can I structure payment terms for my contract? Can I pay the vendor in advance? Can I pay the vendor the day services are completed?
  13. How long will it take to process my contract?
  14. Where are original contracts kept at the University?
  15. I have a small dollar contract. Is certain contract dollar amounts delegated directly to departments to handle without requiring any reviews?
  1. Q. Who can I discuss contract needs with at the university?

    A. The Department of Business Services handles contract administration at the University. Contract administration means assisting the originating department, initially reviewing each contract, coordinating the contract process to help insure that policy and procedures are complied with through contract execution, routing certain contracts through Legal for review and requesting advice as necessary from Accounts Payable, HR Department and/or the UH Legal Department. If you have any questions concerning contracts, email or call Business Services, in University West, either Tim Michalski, X-4107 or Susie Motal, X-4826, to discuss your needs.
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  2. Q. I need a contract. What is my first step?

    A. The first step is always the same. Complete a Contract Coversheet, include any requested forms, and submit via campus mail or deliver directly to Business Services, University West, Suite 107C.
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  3. Q. How do I know if an individual is an employee or a contractor?

    A. Review the Employee versus Contractor outline and answer the series of questions. If at the end, a question still remains, contact the HR department for assistance.
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  4. Q. What is the contract process?

    A. University contract policy and procedures are set forth in university policy E-12, Contract Administration. Once a Contract Coversheet is received by Business Services, the contract is reviewed and a contract number is assigned. Business Services may consult with Accounts Payable, HR, UH Legal and other university officials as part of the review. The department will be contacted if additional information is necessary.
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  5. Q. I do not have a fully signed contract. Can I have the vendor start services and complete the contract later?

    A. No. Contract Administration policy E-12 states that no services be started until the contract has been properly reviewed and executed.
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  6. Q. Do all consulting services require a contract?

    A. Yes. Regardless of the dollar amount, consulting services require a contract. Business Services will prepare the Standard Purchasing Agreement. Submit the contract coversheet along with the Certification of Consultant Need.
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  7. Q. Do all contracts require legal review?

    A. No. The Office of General Counsel (OGC) has approved various standardized contracts, which do not require legal review providing there are no substantive changes to the contract format. However, all contractor provided contracts require mandatory legal review.
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  8. Q. Am I authorized to sign a contract?

    A. You can determine if you have been delegated this authority by reviewing authorization letters from the UHV President and Chancellor. No person has the authority to bind the university contractually unless that individual has been delegated that authority and the contract has been properly reviewed prior to execution.
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  9. Q. Can I sign a vendor agreement or sales order authorization?

    A. It depends. If the vendor’s agreement or sales order has terms and conditions (always check the reverse side) and requires someone to sign from the University as well as the vendor’s signature, then you cannot sign. The agreement will have to be routed through Business Services and reviewed by OGC. If you are unsure, call Business Services, X-4826, first.
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  10. Q. What are standardized contracts?

    A. The Office of General Counsel has approved a variety of commonly used types of contractual agreements for the purpose of simplifying and expediting the contract process. These pre-approved contracts do not require OGC review. If you want to use one of these contract, submit a Contract Coversheet and Business Services will prepare the appropriate contract. To view a listing of the various standardized contracts, see Business Services Forms.
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  11. Q. What are the originating department’s responsibilities for the contract?

    A. The originating department assumes primary responsibility for the contract, from inception to completion. The originating department is responsible for monitoring and assuring performance in accordance with provisions of the contract and for reporting non-compliance. The originating department is also responsible for processing contractor payments in a timely manner, according to the contract terms in place. At the time of the contract execution, the university individual primarily responsible for a contract will be required to sign a Contract Monitoring Acknowledgement form acknowledging those responsibilities.
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  12. Q. How can I structure payment terms of my contract? Can I pay the vendor in advance? Can I pay the vendor on the day the service is completed?

    A. Normally the department should always try to setup standard state payment terms which are 30-days from completion of services. Payment scheduling allowing less than 30 days should be discussed with Accounts Payable in Finance first. Contracts do offer some flexibility, however payments should rarely be made in advance of services unless true extenuating circumstances exist. Payments in advance are not good business practice, leaving the university vulnerable to contractor default. Contractual payments can be scheduled over the life of the contract. Generally payments should not be earlier than 10 days after the completion of services to allow the university adequate time for voucher processing.
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  13. Q. How long will it take to process my contract?

    A. The answer varies and is dependent upon the type of contract. Standardized contracts can be handled in house and are usually processed within 10 days or less. Non-standard agreements requiring OGC review may take 30 days to process. For guidance, refer to the Contract Processing Timeline.
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  14. Q. Where are original contracts kept at the University?

    A. The Department of Business Services is the repository for original contract documents. All contracts are retained in accordance with the approved records retention schedule.
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  15. Q. I have a small dollar contract. Is certain contract dollar amounts delegated directly to departments to handle without requiring any reviews?

    A. No. All contractual agreements, regardless of the dollar amount must be forwarded to Business Services for initial review with a Contract Cover Sheet prior to execution and start of services.
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