Consulting Agreements


Procedures for Engaging Consultants

Consultation is defined as professional services undertaken for personal compensation beyond the  payment of a nominal honorarium and/or reimbursement for expenses. All Consultants (internal or external) must be engaged by the University through the University’s standard Consulting Agreement after the Request for Approval to Engage Consultant has been approved. This policy is not designed to limit internally administered short-term teaching/speaking engagements by USA faculty of one or two days, for which reassignment from normal duties is not feasible. Neither is this policy applicable to the use of firms or individuals as licensed engineers and/or architects.

Consultants shall be selected using the following criteria:

  1. The requested services are essential and cannot be provided by persons receiving salary or otherwise compensated for their services by the University of South Alabama.

  2. A selection process has been employed to secure the most qualified person available. Attach documentation to the Request for Approval to Engage Consultant.

  3. The charges are appropriate considering the qualifications of the consultant, consultant’s normal charges, and the nature of the services rendered.

  4. If the consultant is a USA employee, consultation is across departmental lines and is in addition to regular duties and/or it involves a separate or remote operation and is in addition to the employee’s regular department workload.

  5. No person of the administrative rank of Department Chairman, or above, may receive consultant fees from an on-campus activity without prior approval of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President for their respective division.

All consultant payments to USA employees will be paid through the payroll system and be subject to deductions for all normal fringe benefit contributions payable by the employee, and the applicable account will be charged the employer’s share of such charges.

Request For Approval to Engage Consultant

The Department will initiate the appointment prior to making any commitment to the prospective consultant by forwarding a Request for Approval to Engage Consultant and the Authorization to Provide Services (see forms attached), to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President for the respective division, and the Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting, AD 362 if the payment source account is a 5 ledger account. Grants and Contracts Accounting will determine the allowability of the consultation and charges against the designated grant or contract. If necessary, approval by the Sponsor will be requested.

Consulting Agreement

When the approved Request for Approval to Engage Consultant form is returned to the Department, a Consulting Agreement will be prepared by the requesting department. Three (3) copies must be signed by the Consultant: one (1) for his/her file and two (2) for the University. This Agreement will be executed originally for the limited period specified by the Department or for the duration of the current grant or contract, whichever is less. It may be subsequently amended to include additional services by agreement between the two parties. Executed copies of the agreement, and any amendments thereto, will be forwarded to the Department and the Consultant by the Vice President’s office and will serve as a basis for processing charges. The Consultant may not begin work prior to the receipt of an officially signed contract.

It is the responsibility of the benefiting department to ensure that the daily rate paid is reasonable and, if funded by a sponsoring Federal agency (either directly or as flow-through from another sponsor) does not exceed the maximum approved rate of that Federal agency. The Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting will monitor the payment process to further ensure that proper rates are used when Federal funds are the source. 

When completing the agreement, the initiating department should make certain all requested information is provided as outlined below:

  1. Indicate date agreement is signed by the University.

  2. The overall and specific objectives should be clearly stated in the spaces provided. If additional space is needed, a continuation sheet may be attached and referenced.

  3. The projected beginning and ending dates of the consultation should be indicated.

  4. The anticipated number of consulting days times the daily rate of pay should equal the subtotal amount for actual consulting before considering other expenses for which the Consultant may be reimbursed.

  5. Reimbursable expense should include all costs other than the Consultant fee. (Please note that, if the University purchases and pays for the airfare associated with the consulting effort, the University’s travel procedures apply to the air travel related expenses. Of course, the airline ticket would not be included in the reimbursable expense amount.)

Payment to Consultant

To obtain payment, the Consultant will submit aft a detailed invoice specifying dates on which service was performed, which must be approved by the Department. The Consultant’s original signed claim for payment and/or reimbursement should follow the normal purchasing procedures required by the respective colleges, and the Office of Grants and Contracts Accounting. All invoices also shall be signed by the Vice President of the respective division.

W-9 or Copy of Social Security Card

If the consultant is not already in the Banner system, a completed W-9 form or a copy of the social security card must be submitted before payment can be processed. (The department will probably find that the most convenient time to obtain this documentation is when they are working with the consultant to develop the consulting agreement.)