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Step By Step Through the Contracting Process

Contracting Guide for UHD Academic and Administrative Departments

Step 1: Gather the Needed Information


Step 2: Complete and Submit the Contract Cover Sheet


Step 3: Select the Proper Contract


Step 4: Select an Authorized Representative to Sign the Contracts


Step 5: Complete the Contract Package


Step 6: Be Aware of the Processing Time Frame


Step 7: Process the Contracts Through the Contract Administrator


Step 1:  Gather the Needed Information

Contract Cover Sheet   (See link below)

For each contract your department originates, you will need to submit a Contract Cover Sheet. 

The Contract Cover Sheet is for internal use only. The vendor is not required to sign the Contract Cover Sheet and it should not be forwarded to the vendor.

If your contract involves the expenditure of funds received from a grant, you will need to forward the Contract Cover Sheet to the Director of Sponsored Programs, Contact Sandra Garcia ( for review and availability of funds.

In order to complete the Contract Cover Sheet, you will need to provide of the following:

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Step 2:  Complete and Submit the Contract Cover Sheet

Contract Cover Sheet

You must complete a Contract Cover Sheet for each contract. 

Contract Number  

Forward or e-mail the contract cover sheet to the Contract Administrator (LaShonda White, or Dewana Ferguson, to receive a contract number.


If you are submitting an amendment to a contract, you will need to prepare an Standard Amendment.  In addition to the amendment you are submitting for processing, you will need to attach a copy of:

  1. The original contract; and
  2. Prior amendments, if any,

with the Standard Amendment.

Amendment -Authorized Signatories

 The authorized representatives of the University and the contractor who signed the original contract must sign the amendment.  Amendments must be processed in the same manner as the original contract as required by appropriate University policy.

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Step 3:  Select the Proper Contract

Standard Forms of Agreement 

Select the proper agreement form that is suitable for the transaction. 

The Office of General Counsel has certified certain agreements as "standard contracts."  One of these, Standard Purchasing Agreement (Created 04.14.10) is useful for most transactions that involve services rendered to UHD departments by a non-UHD party.

Additional contracts are summarized in:

Go to “Contracting Forms” or “Purchasing and Contract Related Forms” for electronic copies of these documents.

Contact the Contract Administrator on (713) 223-7928 or at if you have additional questions.

Other Contracts

Some non-UHD parties want to use their own contract for a transaction.  If you use a non-UHD contract or any agreement that has not been certified as an OGC Standard Form of Agreement, the Office of General Counsel will have to review and approve the contract. (Go to "FAQ", "What If The Vendor Wants Us To Sign His Contract?")

You will need to forward four sets of the contracts to the Contract Administrator for submission to the OGC.

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Step 4:  Select an Authorized Representative to Sign the Contracts


No person has the authority to bind the University contractually except in the accordance with Board of Regent, UHS and UHD policies.


University of Houston System Administrative Memorandum 

03.A.05 Contract Administration


2.1. No person has the authority to bind the System or any of its component universities contractually except in accordance with this document. The Board must approve certain contracts in accordance with Board Policy 47.01 and Board Bylaws. The Board delegates to the Chancellor the authority to negotiate, execute, and administer all other contracts or delegate said authority.



University of Houston-Downtown Policy Statement

05.A.06 Contract Administration Policy 



2.1 All delegations of contracting authority must be made in writing, approved by the President, and filed with the Board. No employee, officer, or agent of the University shall have the authority to execute contracts unless expressly delegated such authority pursuant to this policy.



Contracts are legally binding on the University only upon execution of a contract by the University official with delegated contractual signatory authority.  Contract signature authority is delegated in writing by the President of the University.  See the section “Who Can Sign the Contract?” to determine the University official with delegated contractual signatory authority. 

In general, all UHD contracts and clauses are signed by the vendor prior to obtaining the UHD signature.

Revenue Generating Contracts 

Because of the potential tax liability, contracts generating revenue to the University will need to be approved and signed by the appropriate University officials in accordance with UHS contracting policy.   Contact the Contract Administrator for all revenue generating contracts.

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Step 5:  Complete the Contract Package

Contract Package

Fill in the contract by typing information necessary to complete the contract.  The Alternative Dispute Resolution form and Child Support Clause must be added to vendor contracts that are paid with University resources.

Alternative Dispute Resolution and Child Support certification language is included in the contracts on this website that have been approved by the Office of General Counsel.

The UHD individual authorized to sign the contract is also authorized to sign all clauses needed to complete the contracting package.

Handwritten Information

Do not submit contracts or forms that contain handwritten information.  A contract is a legal document; therefore, only the parties' signatures and the date of the signatures should be handwritten. Type in all other information including: the names of the parties, statement of services, compensation, days for giving notice of termination, and start and completion dates for services.

Statement of Services

The statement of services should be detailed enough so that all parties to the contract know exactly what is expected. If necessary, an "APPENDIX A" can be referenced along with a brief description in the body of the contact and attached to the contract to detail the "scope of work".

Start Date for Services

All contracts must have applicable legal reviews and be fully executed by both the non-UHD party and the appropriate UHD signatory prior to commencement of and duties of/actions by the parties as set for within the contract.



University of Houston System Administrative Memorandum       

03.A.05 Contract Administration


2.3. All contracts shall have all applicable administrative and legal reviews completed and be signed by all parties prior to commencement of any duties/actions by the parties as stipulated in the contract. Board approval
must be obtained in an open meeting for certain contracts (see section 4 of this document).


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Step 6:  Be Aware of the Processing Time Frame

Standard vs. Non-Standard Contracts

Although the Contract Administrator can on occasion expedite the processing of a contract package, departments should have all standard contract documents in order and submitted for UHD authorized signature at least 5 business days prior to the start date for services if using an OGC standard form of agreement

Non-standard contracts that must be reviewed by OGC prior to forwarding the package to the vendor should have all documents in order and submitted at least 20 business days prior to the start date for services. 

Please indicate if you can expedite the signature of the vendor or if the vendor will be able to come to the University to sign the contract.

Allow additional time for out-of-state contracts.

Facsimile Contracts and Hard Copy Follow Up

The UH System Administrative Memorandum 03.A.05 Contract Administration - Paragraph 3.1 allows the execution of a facsimile contract on the limited occasions where the contracting party is overseas or due to extenuating circumstances the window for full execution of the contract is a short period of time . 

In these rare and limited situations, three sets of original signature hard copy agreement must be received and processed within 10 business days from the date the contract facsimile is received. The hardcopy agreements must:

Facsimile contracts should be the exception as opposed to the rule .

Contracts for $25,000 or More

Contracts for goods or services, from which payment of $25,000 or more will be made from any funding source, must be submitted to the Purchasing Department before the contract can be signed by the authorized party.  Notification of the procurement will be posted on the Texas Electronic Marketplace for at least 14 calendar days prior to execution of the contract by the University official with delegated signatory authority, if bid specifications are included, and at least 21 calendar days prior to execution by the University official with delegated signatory authority, if bid specifications can not be electronically uploaded. 

Contracts for Consulting Services

Contracts for consulting services[5], for which payment of more than $25,000 will be made, must be submitted to the University System Office of Contracts Administration at least six (6) weeks prior to the start date for services.  The additional time is needed to request approvals from the Governor's Budget and Planning Office and the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) and to publish a request for proposals for the consulting services in the Texas Register.

Contracts valued at more than $14,000 must be reported to the LBB no later than 10 days after entering into the contract, renewal, amendment or extension.

Contracts Requiring Board of Regents Approval

Contact the Contract Administrator for guidance with protocols for contracts that must be approved by the Board of Regents.  Refer to Board of Regents Policy 47.01.1, which can be accessed at Board of Regents approval process usually takes a minimum of two (2) months.

Late Submittal Form 

If you are not able to submit a contract for processing within the time frames specified above, then you must complete and submit a Justification for Untimely Contract Submittal with the contract.  [Note: This requirement is waived for Facilities Management contracts that are routinely prepared in response to needed building repairs.]


[5]  "Consulting Services" are defined by state law as "the service of studying and/or advising a state agency under a contract that does not involve the traditional relationship of employer-employee."

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Step 7:  Process the Contracts Through the Contract Administrator

Documents for the Complete Contracting Package

The complete contracting package will include:

  1. One (1) copy of the completed Contract Cover Sheet (for internal UHD use only);

  2. Three (3) originals of the contract;

  3. Three (3) originals of OGC S-99-24 - Alternative Dispute Resolution form, unless the contract itself includes the ADR provision; and

  4. Three (3) originals of all other certifications and contract addenda that are required for processing the contract as discussed in this web site.
Routine vs. Infrequent or First Time Contracts

If you:

  1. Have completed the Contract Cover Sheet;
  2. Have obtained a contract number from the Contract Administrator;
  3. Require no bid, posting or authorization for the contract;
  4. Know and have a copy of the appropriate contract to be used;
  5. Are familiar with the contracting process;
  6. Routinely complete the same contract for similar services with various vendors; and
  7. Can obtain the non-UHD signature promptly as a result of interactions with the vendor; feel free to obtain the non-UHD signatures on the three contracts and forward the package to the Contract Administrator for review and execution by the appropriate UHD signatory.

If you prepare contracts infrequently, this is the first time you have prepared a contract, or you have questions regarding any portion of the contracting process, contact the Contract Administrator on (713) 223-7928.  You will need to:

  1. Complete the Contract Cover Sheet;
  2. Contact the Contract Administrator to obtain a contract number and assistance with preparing the appropriate contract;
  3. Complete the balance of the contracting package referenced in "Step 5: Complete the Contract Package"; and
  4. Forward the complete package to the Contract Administrator for review, approval and execution.

The Contract Administrator will be happy to review your contract package before it is forwarded to the vendor or address any questions you may have at any time.

Interoffice Mail and Office Location

If you would like to deliver the documents or forward them through interoffice mail, the Contract Administrator's office is located in the One Main Street Building, room 910-S.

Contract Administrator

Upon receipt of your contracting package by the Contract Administrator will:

  1. Review the Contract Cover Sheet and the contracting package for compliance and completion;
  2. Obtain the necessary approvals and signatures to fully execute the contract; and
  3. Keep one fully executed original for the administrative file and forward two to your department, one for the vendor and one for your departmental files.

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Last updated or reviewed on 2/12/14

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