Stephen F. Austin State University

Services Agreement

Services Agreement

This contract may be used for presenters, artists, guest lecturers, consultants, some professional services, and other general services to be provided to the university. You must first determine whether an individual should be hired as a contractor or an employee. Although no longer officially used, the IRS 20 Questions test may be helpful in making this determination. Please contact the Office of General Counsel or Department of Human Resources for further assistance.

Professional and Consulting Services: Professional services require special attention and include those services listed in university policy 17.12, Professional and Consulting Services (accounting, architecture, landscape architecture, land surveying, medicine, optometry, professional engineering, real estate appraising, and professional nursing). Consulting services are those that involve studying of or advising the university and additional rules must be followed if it is reasonably foreseeable that the value of the contract will exceed $25,000. This includes individual contracts for that amount and cumulative amount of recurrent contracts with the same individual for same or similar services. Upon submittal of an offer by a private consultant to provide consulting services to the university, any officer or employee shall report to the president within 10 days of receipt of the offer: 1) any financial interest that the officer or employee has in the private consultant, or 2) any financial interest in the private consultant of anyone related to the officer or employee within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity as determined under Texas Government Code Chapter 573. Please consult the Major Consulting Contract Services Procedure page for detailed instructions regarding how to initiate a major consulting services contract.

Limitations on Contracts with Previous Employees or Retirees: No state funds may be used to compensate an individual who has been previously employed by the university within the past twelve months under any consulting, professional, or employment contract. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term "employment services" shall include a personal services contract regardless of whether the performance of such a contract involves the traditional relationship of employer and employee. Non-appropriated funds could be used under the following conditions: a cover memo should be attached to the contract for approval and signature routing which contains the following information: 1) the job the consultant previously held while employed by the university; 2) the consultant's salary while employed by the university; 3) the consultant's dates of employment with the university; and 4) the source of the funds to be used in paying the contract.

Contractor Employed with Another State Agency or TRS Eligible Institution: You must also determine whether it is appropriate, under state law, for an honorarium to be paid to that contractor who is employed by a state agency and whether retirement should be paid. The following links will helpful in making those determinations: Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 173, Texas Constitution Article 16 Section 40 and TRS Compensation Rules, Chapter 25, Section 25.21(d). To avoid duplication of payment and auditor inquiries, please remind the contractor employed by a state agency that caution should be used regarding taking vacation or other leave time from the other agency for the period of time they are performing the service for the university. Duplication of reimbursement for travel expenses should also be avoided.

Contracts with Individuals from Other Countries: When contracting with individuals who are not citizens of the U.S., a copy of the individual's visa must be attached to the contract. There are restrictions on the payment of such individuals. Please contact the Office of General Counsel with any questions.


For further information, see:

University Policy - Delegated Purchasing Authority - 17.5

University Policy - Professional and Consulting Services - 17.12