The employment or securing of services of a consultant requires prior approval of the University Purchasing Department, State Division of Purchase and Contract and the Governor or his designee.
The University shall acquire consultant services only after it is determined that the function for which the consultant is retained cannot be reasonably accomplished by employees of the University; that the use of a consultant is reasonably necessary to the proper operation of the University; that the estimated cost is reasonable as compared with the likely benefits or results; that the funds are available for the contract; and that the contract is in the best interest of the University and the State.
Services of a consultant shall mean work or task(s) performed by State employees or
independent contractors possessing specialized knowledge, experience, expertise, and
professional qualifications to investigate assigned problems or projects and to provide
review, analysis, or advice in formulating or implementing improvements in programs or services. This includes, but is not limited to, the organization, planning, directing, control, evaluation and operations of a program, agency or department.
1. Prior to securing the services of a consultant, the department shall submit to
the Purchasing Department written justification for its request for consultant services.
This written justification shall explain what services the department desires to secure;
work to be performed by the consultant cannot be reasonably accomplished by employees of the requesting department; how the work to be performed relates to the proper function of the department; what benefits the department expects to receive from the consultant's services; what the department estimates to be the cost of the services sought; what potential sources of consultant services, if any, the department has identified; and such additional information as may be required. The request and justification must be approved by the appropriate Dean and Vice Chancellor and a letter of endorsement obtained from the Chancellor.
2. Consultant services shall be obtained from other State agencies when the services
available from other State agencies substantially meet the reasonable specifications
of the requesting department. If the department is requesting authority to contract
services outside of State government, the justification shall also detail what potential sources of those services exist within State government and explain why the desired services were not available from those sources.
3. The documents submitted by the department requesting authority to retain consultants
will be reviewed by the Purchasing Department and, upon approval, forwarded to the
State Purchase and Contract Division for review. Upon completion of this review the
will be advised, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the State, to:
- Canvas additional sources within State government
- Solicit proposals from private contractors
- Execute a negotiated contract(s) without competitive proposals
- Abandon the project for being outside the scope of the department's responsibilities or for having insufficient benefit to the State relative to the potential expenditure of funds.
4. Once the University receives approval to solicit proposals for consultant services, the requesting department/Purchasing Department shall:
- Prepare a request for proposals (RFP), which must be approved by the Division of Purchase and Contract prior to dissemination among prospective service providers.
- Circulate the request for proposals to such sources of consultant services as may be identified by the Division of Purchase and Contract as well as all sources identified by the University. Post all RFP's estimated to exceed $10,000 to the Division of Purchase and Contract's Interactive Purchasing System (IPS).
- Publicly open all proposals received at a date and time set in the request for proposals.
- Upon receipt of proposals the University shall submit a copy of each proposal received to the Division of Purchase and Contract.
- Review all proposals received on the basis of evaluation criteria significantly related to the function to be performed and equally applied to all proposals received. The University shall submit a memorandum to the Division of Purchase and Contract citing its criteria for selection and recommending a recipient of the contract.
- The Division of Purchase and Contract shall evaluate all proposals received in accordance with the University's request. Upon completion of this analysis and approval by the Governor or his designee, the University shall be notified in writing that all proposals have been rejected or that the University is authorized to execute a contract(s) with an approved service provider(s).
5. All contracts for consultant services shall be in writing and in a format approved by the State Division of Purchase and Contract. The contracts must be approved by the appropriate Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance, Legal Counsel and signed by the Chancellor.
Any consultant contract executed without the approval of the State Division of Purchase and Contract and the Governor or his designee shall be void and no State funds shall be expended pursuant to any such contract. Any employee or official of the State of North Carolina who executes a contract without this approval shall be liable to repay any amount expended pursuant to such contract plus court costs.
It is the general policy of the University to acquire contractual services by seeking competition. The final decision-making authority in regard to any phase of procurement or performance of any contractual service is the University Chancellor.
A department of the University shall seek to obtain a contractual service only after the following determinations have been made: that funds are available to cover the total cost of the service; that the desired level of quality of the service is adequate and reasonable for the purpose intended; that all rules, regulations and procedures referred to herein have been or will be complied with; and that obtaining the service is in the best interest of the University and the State.
Contractual services shall mean work performed by an independent contractor requiring specialized knowledge, experience, expertise or similar capabilities wherein the service rendered does not consist primarily of acquisition by the State of equipment or materials. For the purpose of clarification, equipment service contracts are contractual services and subject to the rules and regulations herein.
For all contractual service contracts over $5,000, unless an emergency or pressing need exists, the University shall comply with the following:
1. The department shall prepare a task description of the services and desired results. For statewide or multi-agency term contracts, P&C will establish the task description of services and desired results. Task descriptions shall contain all of the following:
- The date(s) of service (The contract shall not be for more than three (3) years including extensions and renewals, without the prior approval of the SPO.)
- Detailed specifications or type and level of work required
- What the University will furnish
- What the Contractor will furnish
- The method, schedule, and procedures for billing and payments
- Other terms and conditions, specifications or procedures bearing on the conduct of the work.
2. Upon completion of the task description and desired results, competition shall be solicited, where available, for expenditures over $5,000. If over $5,000, the University must solicit competition by issuing a Written Request for Proposal (RFP), which shall contain the task description and desired results, and specify or provide for all of the following:
- Provide for the laws of North Carolina to govern the contract
- The contract shall be cancelable upon a specified written notice at any time by the State for unsatisfactory performance or for the convenience of the State
- Provide for the option to require a performance bond or other suitable means of ensuing faithful performance when deemed by the State to be necessary
- The contract must be in compliance with State and Federal antitrust laws
- The contractor shall furnish all workers’ compensation, liability insurance, and other insurance as may be required to protect himself and the State from claims which may arise
- Provide for a payment schedule
- Provide for price adjustments provisions, if any
- Identify the agency liaison personnel and any other agency resources that will be available to the contractor
- Provide the criteria for evaluation
- Request a description of the offeror's qualifications and references
- Have the cost of the service broken down by components
- Have the offeror identify the proposed methodology for accomplishing the work (if not furnished in the RFP)
3. Request for Proposals $10,000 or greater must be posted to the IPS.
4. After opening, and completion of the evaluation, the University shall prepare a
written recommendation for award, and if over the established benchmark, shall submit
a copy of all offers received and their recommendation to P&C for approval of contract
or other action deemed necessary by the SPO (Examples: cancellation, negotiation, etc.). Notice of the decision by P&C shall be sent to the agency.
5. All contracts for services shall be in writing and in a format approved by the
State Division of Purchase and Contract. The contracts must be approved by the appropriate
Vice Chancellor, Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance, Legal Counsel and
the Chancellor unless authority is delegated elsewhere. Contracts for servicing equipment may be executed by the University Purchasing Department. All other delegations of authority will be made in writing from the Chancellor. The following types of services shall be exempt from adherence to procedures for securing contractual services:
- Services provided by individuals by direct employment contracts with the State
- Public utility services (gas, water, and electricity)
- Telephone, telegraph and cable services furnished by utility companies
- Services provided which are subject to published tariff rates as established by the Interstate Commerce Commission.
- Services which are merely incidental to the purchase of supplies, materials or equipment.
- Contracts for construction of and structural changes to public buildings.
- Personal services provided by doctors, dentists, attorneys, architects, professional
engineers, scientists or performers of the fine arts or similar professions. (A personal
service shall be interpreted to be the occasional or temporary use of an individual's
professional skills to perform a professional task).
- Services provided directly by an agency of the State, Federal or Local Government, or their employees when performing the service as a part of their normal governmental function.
- Any other service designated to be exempt by the State Purchasing Officer, or his authorized representative.
Service/Repair of University Equipment
Obtaining service for University equipment is the responsibility of the department to whom the equipment is assigned. The department should determine if the equipment is inwarranty, on a service or maintenance contract, or out-of-warranty. Obtaining service and
submitting an invoice for payment on a confirming requisition is not permitted.
- When it is determined that service is required on equipment, which is under warranty, the department with the equipment should call the manufacturer to obtain the service.
- When service is required on equipment, which is under a service, or maintenance contract, the department with the equipment should call contract vendor to obtain the service.
- When service is required on equipment, which is not under warranty or a service contract, a purchase requisition must be submitted and a purchase order must be issued to obtain the service.
- Documentation of the nature of all services performed should be maintained by the department possessing the equipment.