Contract FAQs

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Contract and Signing Questions

What is a Contract?

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

Who can sign a Contract?

There are only a few designated University personnel who have signing authority for the University. The President’s Office delegates these signatories. 

For a complete list of personnel with authorization, you can download the Contract Signature Authority List here.

Do not sign any contractual documents for the University – all contracts (and all parts of the contract) MUST go through the proper channels for approval and approved University signatures.
 

Does a Contract have to be in writing?

Yes, all contracts MUST be in writing. Contracts are binding legal documents, therefore we require them in writing and signed by all authorized parties.

Remember, it is not the dollar amount which dictates the need for a contract. Measuring the amount of risk involved is necessary, as well as adherence to Washington State Law.
 

We have misplaced a copy of our Contract, how can we get another copy?

Copies of your contract can be found under the “My Contracts” section of the CMM:

My Contracts area in CMM

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

Contract language often provides for renewals beyond the initial term of the contract, based on continued payment. Often, an amendment can extend the term of a contract if extensions are not provided for in the initial contract.

An amendment allows you to make a change or extend the terms of a pre-existing contract, with approval and consent from both parties.

Payment and Honorariums

How do I pay for guest speakers?

If you are a user in CMM please submit your contract using the Performance template.

How does an Honorarium work?

Honorarium – Definitions

A single, fixed, ex gratia payment given as an expression of gratitude and gesture of good will to a non employee who has volunteered for, or to participate in, a University sponsored event, activity or class that would be considered incidental and infrequent (not traditionally required on an on-going basis such as but not limited to):

  • A talk, address or special classroom lecture or short series of lecture
  • Participating as a judge for a contest
  • Serving on a panel
  • Assistance for set up or supporting activities at a special events.    

To request an Honorarium please complete the paper reimbursement form and have the honorarium sign

You can read more about Western's Honorarium Policy here.

What differentiates a Guest Speaker from a Honorarium?

These are the areas which define a need for a speaker agreement. 

  • Is there a defined scope of work? 
  • Are there deliverables? 
  • Is there separate travel?

If yes, then your guest is a Guest Speaker and not an Honorarium.

What is a Stipend?

A stipend is a fixed amount payment to non employee:

  • To support a training or learning experience generally giving to assist with living or educational expenses while undertaking a role that primarily provides the individual with a learning /training experience and therefore exempts them for a waged or salaried employment, or
  • For services that may be reoccurring but does not represent employment such as a host teacher paid quarterly for hosting a student teacher. 
     

Can we contract with a current or former Western employee?

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

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

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

What if my contractor is from another country?

If your contractor does not have a US Social Security Number or an ITIN #, Accounts Payable may need to withhold 30% of the payment for IRS taxes. For additional questions please contact Accounts Payable