Frequently Asked Questions

What is a contract?

Any written form of documentation legally obligating the University performance or monetary issues. For example, any document that contains language related to pricing, statement of work, insurance, indemnification, legal venue, rights and responsibilities of either party or similar language, whether or not it involves monetary payment or indicates it requires the signature of the University, should be considered a legal contract.


Who can sign a contract?

The President’s Office delegates signatories. The current list allows for a small number of employees to sign on behalf of the University – Assume that you cannot sign anything that looks like a contract.


How do I pay for a guest speaker?

The Services/Reimbursement Form is used for initiating payments to guest speakers who provide one-time nonrecurring services, not exceeding $599.99, with an honorarium code of E211. If travel is paid separately, please separate the expense on the form, and use the appropriate E code for travel.

Services of $600 or more must be preapproved through Contract Administration.

For more information on Paying Honoraria to Non-employees, refer to POL-U5348.0.


I need to hire a consultant. How do I go about this?

Contact Contract Administration at 360-650-7731 or ContractAdmin@wwu.edu.

Due to the strict Washington State personal service regulations, it is best to contact Contract Administration to discuss your Department’s specific contract need.

For further detailed information, visit OFM State Administrative & Accounting Manual (SAAM) ( Chapters 15 and 16) or check out additional OFM contracting resources.


We need a contract. Can Contract Administration help us through the process?

Yes. Contract Administration can provide you with a contract boiler plate, review your contract drafts, and Guide you through the contracting process. Or, you may prefer to provide Contract Administration with all pertinent information and request that Contract Administration prepares the contract for your review.


We've misplaced our copy of a contract. How can we get another copy?

Contact Contract Administration, 360-650-7731. Contract Administration maintains the contract files for Western.


Can our contract be renewed or do we have to form another contract?

Contract Administration will review the contract in question to determine if the contract language provides for renewals beyond the initial term of the contract.


Does a contract have to be in writing?

Yes, all contracts need to be in writing. Furthermore, it is not always the dollar amount that dictates the need for a contract. Measuring the amount of "risk" is necessary as well.


What do we do when our department receives a "Contract Review Notification"?

At the beginning of every month, Contract Administration prepares a "Contract Review Notification" (CRN) form for all contracts that will expire within the next 30-45 days, and forwards the CRN to the appropriate department contacts. The CRN notifies the department of the expiration status of their contracts and requests a response from the departments. The information needed from your department is indicated on the CRN. Departments need to complete Section II of the CRN, sign where indicated, and return the completed CRN to Contract Administration.


Can we pay an employee an honorarium or do we have to go through payroll?

Payments to employees who are currently on Western's payroll must be paid through Western's Payroll System if the work is similar to work they currently perform for Western. If the honorarium is for work entirely different from the employee's regular duties, an honorarium may be paid. Please contact Contract Administration prior to performance of the work.


Should our department authority sign the contract?

Usually contracts do not require department authority signature. The department authority should sign the Contract Administration Routing Sheet, or if preferred, may sign the memo forwarding the contract to Contract Administration.


Can we contract witha current or former employee?

The answer often will be "no," as prohibitions apply to any type of service contracting with the State, not just personal service contracting. Please contact Contract Administration for assistance prior to performance of service.


Is there a standard contract form that we can use to begin a contract?

Yes. Contract Administration has contract boiler plates for most types of contracts. For sample contract language, please visit the *****Insert link*****Contract Administration Important Forms web page.


How can I find out the status of a contract I sent Contract Administration?

Please contact our department at 360-650-7731.


Does the individual we want to hire need to have a WA State Business License?

In general, any person acting in an independent capacity to perform personal services in this state must have a Unified Business Identifier (UBI) before conducting any work. Please go to Doing Business tab on the Washington State Department of Revenue website.

Page Updated 07.11.2013