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Office of FINANCIAL SERVICES

Contract agreements and licences

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Making contract agreements

When financial units officers propose entering into contracts or agreements on behalf of the University for the purchase or use of goods or services, the financial and legal implications need to be fully explored. The Purchasing section provides assistance and advice about contractual agreements.

When contracts contain clauses that are not standard or that vary from previous contracts or agreements, you should submit a copy of the contract, agreement or proposal to the Purchasing section for advice. If necessary, the Purchasing section forwards it  to the University Legal Officer for consideration.

When a contract proposal has been accepted by the financial unit, have it signed by an officer with sufficient delegated authority and return it to the Purchasing section for processing.

Keep a copy of the contract in the financial unit.

Assign financial unit staff to supervise the contract and ensure all terms and conditions are met.

Refer any enquiries regarding agreements or contracts to the Purchasing section not to the contractor.

Maintenance agreements

Maintenance agreements are negotiated by individual financial units with the supplier.

The financial unit then uses Finance One to raise a requisition for the contract. It is recommended that you use a standing requisition if the contract will be on-going so that each year the contract can be renewed with the same details.

Licence agreements

The University may be required to enter into licence agreements when purchasing computer software or other items. It is especially important prior to such purchases being made that the conditions of such licences are examined to ensure that the University is not placed in a disadvantageous position or that conditions do not put unreasonable constraints on the University.

Where there is some doubt about any of the clauses within an agreement,  refer the agreement to the University's Legal Officer for an opinion.

Before purchasing a licence, examine the agreement for the following:

  • The term or duration of the licence
  • The cost of service, if applicable, is fixed or open ended - in general it is desirable to tie cost increases to the CPI
  • What the licence offers, for example, conditions of usage, access by the licensee, confidentiality of any programs
  • Options for termination and the notice required for termination by either party
  • Frequency of payments (that is, annually, quarterly, monthly). As it may be a financial disadvantage for the University to make a single annual payment for large contract amounts, it may be necessary to negotiate alternative frequencies of payment.

Refer any enquiries regarding licence agreements to the Purchasing section.

If the licence agreement is acceptable, have it approved by an officer with sufficient delegated authority and return the original to the Purchasing section for implementation.

In approving the licence, the officer is committing both the financial unit and the University to the conditions stated.

Retain a copy of the licence agreement within the financial unit so it can be referred to in cases of disputes.

It is the responsibility of the appropriate officers within a financial unit to ensure that both the supplier and the financial unit comply with all terms and conditions of an agreement or contract.

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