Contracts and Contractors
A contract defines the parameters of an agreement to provide products or services. Contracts are required any time a person or company is brought in to provide services to the district. A grant application is a contract between SPPS and the funder.
SPPS staff are not authorized to sign contracts for SPPS. Contracts to apply for or receive a grant must be signed by the superintendent. Principals, directors, and administrators are authorized to enter into contracts on behalf of SPPS for up to $3,500 for schools/$5,000 for departments. Contracts between $3,500 for schools/$5,000 for departments and $174,999 can be signed by the purchasing manager, controller, chief financial officer or superintendent. Contracts for services over $175,000 must be signed by the purchasing manager, controller, chief financial officer, superintendent or board of education chair. See the contract signature authority matrix for more information.
No work should start and no products acquired until the contract is final. If a purchase order is required for the purchasing process, the contract is not final until that purchase order has been issued.
The Purchasing & Contract Services Office is responsible for contract coordination, review, and approval, and should be involved early in the process for any contracts. The contract manager is responsible for development and negotiation of terms, and monitoring of the work of the contractor. The Sysoft eRFP system will generate a contract based on information entered when the contract process is initiated. No paper or old SPPS contract templates should be used.
For anything service related, regardless of the cost, all paperwork must be complete and on file in the eRFP before any work is performed by a vendor or consultant. Failure to follow these steps could result in the individual hiring the contractor being held personally liable for expenses.
Contracts Commonly Used at SPPS
- Consulting contracts
- Cooperative agreement
- Intergovernmental agreement
- Maintenance agreement
- Memorandum of understanding
- Professional services agreement
- Software license agreement
SPPS must take all necessary affirmative steps to use small, minority, and women owned businesses, and labor surplus area firms when possible. This includes:
- Placing these businesses on solicitation lists
- Soliciting these businesses whenever they are potential sources
- Dividing tasks or quantities, where possible, to enable participation by these businesses
- Establishing delivery schedules that encourage participation by these businesses
- Using the services and assistance of the Small Business Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency, and other similar organizations
- Requiring the subcontractor to take the steps noted above
There are many acceptable practices for negotiating a contract at SPPS.
- The contract manager (individual seeking the contract)
- Considered the subject expert most equipped to express what is needed
- Spells out what work needs to be covered by the contract
- May be part of the negotiation process along with Purchasing Department
- Input from legal counsel may be appropriate
- Purchasing may have useful insight