The Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs (VPBA) provides administrative support to The University of Texas at El Paso for the review, approval and execution of business contracts and agreements:
The Office of the VPBA:
- Serves as the University's liaison to The University of Texas (UT) System and key resource offices, including the Office of General Counsel (OGC) and Office of Insurance and Risk Management.
- Provides guidance on legal, business, and procedural contractual language.
- Ensures contractor meets minimum insurance coverage requirements stipulated by UT System guidelines.
- Assists in monitoring key contract terms, such as expiration dates and contractor payment due dates.
- Our goal is to support the educational and research missions of the University by facilitating the execution of business contracts while ensuring compliance with University, state, and federal laws, policies and procedures.
Processing Contracts through the VPBA
The Contractor should not be authorized to proceed, nor should payment be approved, until the contract is fully executed (signed by all parties). Departmental administrator responsibility for contracts include the following:
- verifying that the Contractor or Vendor complies with all of the terms and conditions of the agreement
- ensuring that all services have been received or rendered and have been delivered satisfactorily prior to authorizing payment
- ensuring that any revenue generated pursuant to the terms of the business contract are paid to the University.
If the departmental administrator receives certificates of insurance, worker's compensation insurance, or performance bond certificates they should be forwarded to the Office of the VPBA.
Procedure for Submitting Business Contracts to be Reviewed, Approved, and Executed by the Vice President for Business Affairs
- Submit a cover memo on your department letterhead that includes the following:
- a brief description of the proposed services
- contract start dates, end dates, and renewal options
- a statement indicating your assurance that you have read the contract and concur with the terms and conditions and that it is in the best interest of the University to enter into the agreement or contract
- amount of contract or an estimated "not to exceed" amount Note: Please be aware that if you have a services contract in which the total cost, including variable expenses, will exceed $25,000, you will need to contact your designated buyer in the Purchasing Office for further review of competitive bidding requirements
- if the project will produce revenue, please provide an estimated revenue amount
- the account to be used to pay for services and verification of available funding
- the name and telephone number of an individual in your department who is familiar with the proposed agreement in the event there are questions
- any other relevant information that will assist this office in the contract review
- Click here to view a sample cover memo
- Provide a minimum of three (3) originals of the agreement. After being fully executed, one copy each will be retained by the contractor, the initiating department, and the VPBA's Office.
- Certain agreements that do not conform to the standard agreements previously approved by the UT System Office of General Counsel (OGC) will require their review and approval, which may delay the contract approval process. All contracts must comply with University Policies, University of Texas (UT) System Regents’ Rules, and UT System Business Procedure Memoranda. The Office of the VPBA considers OGC General Procedure Contract Checklist, Business Procedure Memoranda, and Regents’ Rules in reviewing all contracts.
- Once the review is complete, the agreement will be signed by the VPBA, and you will be notified for further handling as follows:
- negotiating any required revisions with the contractor; or
- obtaining the contractor's signature and initials of any required changes to the original agreement; or
- returning a fully executed agreement to the other party for their records
If the Contractor will not agree to the required changes, please contact this office for assistance in negotiating the changes.
- Once the Contractor has signed the agreement and initiated any required revisions, please return one fully executed original to the Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs located in the Administration Building, Suite 301.
In 1999, the Texas Legislature passed a law that requires a procedure for resolving certain contract claims against the State or a State agency. This Statute is now the Texas Government Code, Chapter 2260. It requires that we place a provision in every contract to which the statute applies stating that the procedures must be used to try to resolve a dispute arising under the contract.
All contracts should include one of the following Dispute Resolution provisions:
Dispute Resolution Provision for Contracts with a cost of $25,000 or less:
To the extent that Chapter 2260, Texas Government Code, is applicable to this contract and is not preempted by other applicable law, the dispute resolution process provided for in Chapter 2260 and the related rules adopted by the Texas Attorney General pursuant to Chapter 2260, shall be used by The University of Texas at El Paso ("UTEP") and __________ (insert name of Contractor) ("CONTRACTOR") to attempt to resolve any claim for breach of contract made by CONTRACTOR that cannot be resolved in the ordinary course of business. UTEP's Vice President for Business Affairs shall examine CONTRACTOR'S claim and any counterclaim and negotiate with CONTRACTOR in an effort to resolve such claims. The parties hereto specifically agree that (i) neither the occurrence of an event giving rise to a breach of contract claim nor the pendency of a claim constitute grounds for the suspension of performance by CONTRACTOR; (ii) neither the issuance of this Contract by UTEP nor any other conduct, action or inaction of any representative of UTEP relating to this Contract constitutes or is intended to constitute a waiver of UTEP's of the state's sovereign immunity to suit; and (iii) UTEP has not waived its right to seek redress in the courts.
Dispute Resolution Provision for Contracts with a cost greater than $25,000:
- To the extent that Chapter 2260 of the Texas Government Code, as it may be amended from time to time (" Chapter 2260"), is applicable to this Contract and is not preempted by other applicable law, the dispute resolution process provided for in Chapter 2260 shall be used, as further described herein, by The University of Texas at El Paso ("UTEP") and _________ (insert name of Contractor) ("CONTRACTOR") to attempt to resolve any claim for breach of contract made by CONTRACTOR:
- CONTRACTOR's claims for breach of this Contract that the parties cannon resolve pursuant to other provisions of this Contract or in the ordinary course of business shall be submitted to the negotiation process provided in subchapter B of Chapter 2260. To initiate the process, CONTRACTOR shall submit written notice, as required by subchapter B of Chapter 2260, to UTEP in accordance with the notice provisions in this Contract. CONTRACTOR's notice shall specifically state that the provisions of subchapter B of Chapter 2260 are being invoked, the date and nature of the event giving rise to the claim, the specific contract provision that UTEP allegedly breached, the amount of damages CONTRACTOR seeks, and the method used to calculate the damages. Compliance by CONTRACTOR with subchapter B of Chapter 2260 is a required prerequisite to CONTRACTOR's filing of a contested case proceeding under subchapter C of Chapter 2260. The Vice President for Business Affairs at UTEP, or such other officer of UTEP as may be designated from time to time by UTEP by written notice thereof to CONTRACTOR in accordance with the notice provisions in this Contract, shall examine CONTRACTOR's claim and any counterclaim and negotiate with CONTRACTOR in an effort to resolve such claims.
- If the parties are unable to resolve their disputes under subparagraph (A) of this section, the contested case process provided in subchapter C of Chapter 2260 is CONTRACTOR's sole and exclusive process for seeking a remedy for any and all of CONTRACTOR's claims for breach of this Contract by UTEP.
- Compliance with the contested case process provided in subchapter C of Chapter 2260 is a required prerequisite to seeking consent to sue from the Legislature under Chapter 107 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. The parties hereto specifically agree that (i) neither the execution of this Contract by UTEP nor any other conduct, action or inaction of any representative of UTEP relating to this Contract constitutes or is intended to constitute a waiver of UTEP's or the state's sovereign immunity to suit and (ii) UTEP has not waived its right to seek redress in the courts.
- The submission, processing and resolution of CONTRACTOR's claim is governed by the published rules adopted by the Texas Attorney General pursuant to Chapter 2260, as currently effective, hereafter enacted or subsequently amended.
- Neither the occurrence of an event giving rise to a breach of contract claim nor the pendency of a claim constitute grounds for the suspension of performance by CONTRACTOR, in whole or in part. UTEP and CONTRACTOR agree that any periods set forth in this Contract for notice and cure of defaults are not waived, delayed, or suspended by Chapter 2260 or this section.
Vendor & Taxpayer Account Clearance
Prior to entering into a contract for goods or services, the University is required to contact the State Comptroller's Office to verify whether the Comptroller is prohibited from issuing a warrant to the vendor. The Office of the VPBA or the Purchasing Department can assist in performing this service or this information can be obtained through an electronic search at the following website:
If the Comptroller is currently prohibited from issuing a warrant to the person or organization, the University may not enter into an agreement with the individual or organization unless the person or organization agrees to a contract under which any payments owing to the person or organization will be applied to the debt or delinquent taxes that the person or organization owes the State until the debt or delinquent taxes are paid in full.
The Office of the VPBA will notify the initiating department in the event a vendor is prohibited from contracting with the University. The vendor will need to contact the State Comptroller's office for assistance in resolving the warrant.
In extenuating circumstances a contract may be approved with a prohibited vendor. In these cases contracts must include the following statement:
"PAYMENT OF DEBT OR DELINQUENCY TO THE STATE:
Pursuant to Sections 2107.008 and 2252.903, Texas Government Code, Contractor agrees that any payments owing to Contractor under this Agreement may be applied directly toward any debt or delinquency that Contractor owes the State of Texas or any agency of the State of Texas, regardless of when it arises, until such debt or delinquency is paid in full."