When preparing any contract, departments should consult the Purchasing Office. Prior consultation will help avoid problems that will delay the approval or payment of a contract. Purchasing Forms, including the most current version of the Agreement for General Services, are available on the Purchasing website. For further questions, please contact the Purchasing Office at 298-1819.
IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL Professional and Artistic Service/General Service contracts must be routed through the Purchasing Office for review per the Illinois Procurement Code. A notice of award must be placed in the Illinois Procurement Bulletin (if applicable) and approved by the Procurement Policy Board (PPB) before a contract can be signed.
Important reminders about contracting for professional services:
- Always use the most current version posted on Purchasing’s website. It is also located on the Provost’s website under Forms. The agreement can be found here: Agreement for General Services
- The contract must be fully signed before services begin. Please allow at least 2 weeks for signatures to be obtained. Late contracts require that a justification for late submission be submitted to the Purchasing Office.
- Any contract over $5,000 must be submitted with an Online Purchase Requisition to the Purchasing Office prior to the beginning date of the contract.
- All contracts and/or leases for real property, regardless of amount or source of funds, must be reduced to writing and signed by both the vendor and the University Designee (and Vice President if applicable) PRIOR to the beginning date of the contract
- If a vendor has their own contract (including hotel and advertising agreements, performance contracts, maintenance agreements, etc.) – regardless of dollar amount - please call the Purchasing Office for further instructions. The Board of Trustees Regulations state, “All contracts which an employee believes may raise legal issues shall be submitted to the President or his designee (which is the Vice President for Administrative Services Office) for approval as to legal form before they are signed.”
- All internal agreements between University departments should be reduced to writing. A template can be found here: Internal Agreement.
- For contracts $5,000 and over, departments are required to submit to the Purchasing Office an Online Purchase Requisition which may include: Dates of service, need for services, description of services to be performed and other contract information. Current forms are available on the Purchasing Office website. For questions regarding the type of contract to use, please contact the Purchasing Office for assistance.
- Some leases for real property require a sealed bid procedure. If you are interested in leasing real property, contact the Purchasing Office for guidance.
- Contracts require the following:
- All contracts and/or leases for real property, regardless of amount or source of funds, must be reduced to writing and signed by both the vendor and the University Designee (and Vice President if applicable) PRIOR to the beginning date of the contract.
- If $1,000 or more, must be approved by the respective Vice President before services begin.
- If $5,000 or more, must be submitted with an Online Purchase Requisition to the Purchasing Office prior to the beginning date of the contract.
- If $20,000 or more, a Contract Obligation Document (COD) must be filed with the State Comptroller's Office. The Purchasing Office will do this filing but must have the contract before services begin in order to meet the filing deadlines. The State of Illinois requires by statutory authority that contracts be filed with the Comptroller by the University prior to the beginning date of the services to be performed and within 15 days of the signing of the contract. The Comptroller’s Office submits all late contracts to the State of Illinois Auditor General’s Office for review by the University’s external auditors.
- Leases for real property must meet the same filing requirements, regardless of the dollar amount or the source of funds. All leases for real property must be submitted on an Online Purchase Requisition with a properly completed lease agreement attached prior to the beginning dates of the lease.
- If anticipated services for Professional and Artistic Services are $20,000 or more, please contact the Purchasing Office.
- If the contract is to be considered a sole source, submit an Online Purchase Requisition and a sole source justification form to the Purchasing Office. Sole sources are required to be advertised on the Illinois Public Higher Education bulletin for fourteen days, after which a public hearing may be held before the award can be processed.
- If $250,000 or more, approval is required by the President, legal counsel and the Vice President of Administrative Services prior to the beginning date of the contract. The Purchasing Office will process the necessary paperwork for approval.
- If $500,000 or more, approval is required by The Board of Trustees of Western Illinois University prior to the beginning date of the contract. The Purchasing Office will submit the necessary paperwork for approval. In order to coincide with The Board of Trustee meetings and review, the solicitation process should be complete and a preliminary vendor selected with all details of the project and associated costs available a minimum of one month before the meeting date. This is to allow for Board members to have adequate time to review the details. Do not delay preparation and submission of a contract.
- Contracts with foreign individuals/vendors: If a contract is being entered into with a foreign individual/vendor, departments should consult with Business Services as documentation may be necessary in order to make the payment.
Employee’s vs Independent Contractors
The Internal Revenue Service considers all individuals as employees unless sufficient documentation provides evidence that the person is truly an independent contractor. The following broad guidelines should help you determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor.
Employees are individuals who:
- Frequently provide services to any, or multiple, University departments.
- Receive travel reimbursements.
- Are provided "employee" benefits.
- Are directed by other employees in the services they provide such as methods, location, time restraints, etc.
- Receive a majority of their income from services provided to Western Illinois University.
- Infrequently provide like services to other parties.
- Perform services similar to those performed by employees.
- Use University equipment to complete the task.
Independent contractors are individuals/businesses who:
- Are not otherwise employed by the University (or formerly employed performing the same duties)
- Pursue outside work or provide a service to multiple customers/clients and advertise such services.
- Take a "risk" for not completing the conditions of the contract.
- Contract for a set price to provide an identifiable service which covers a specified time frame (the contract price includes travel expenses and other operating expenses).
- Have the flexibility to assign the service to other individuals.
- Are not directed as to methods of accomplishment, time restraints, (other than contract period), etc.
- Have a short-term relationship with the University.
Contact the Purchasing Office for guidance on whether the situation meets the conditions for an independent contractor. Please allow adequate time for a proper evaluation to be made. If an individual is an employee or former employee, please contact Human Resources for employment details.
Signature Authority for Income-Producing Contracts
The Vice President for Administrative Services or Assistant to the Vice President for Administrative Services must sign all income-producing contracts for the University. Income-producing contracts include, without limitation, grants or contracts with public or private agencies for instruction, research, or service, as well as concession-type contracts, and contracts for the conveyance, lease, license, encumbrance, or other disposition of real or personal property of the Board of Trustees of Western Illinois University.
When preparing any income-producing contract, departments should consult the Purchasing Office if they have any questions about the content of the agreement.
For more on contracts, see the Administrative Procedures handbook