NOTICE: The Finance Policies and Procedures Manual, along with the previous manual, is undergoing changes. These sites are continually updated to reflect changes in business processes. If you cannot find the information you are seeking in these policies, email for more information.
Policies and Procedures

Policy 1234 – Contractual Services

July 1, 2003
Last Updated
October 1, 2014
Last Reviewed
October 1, 2014
Responsible University Officer
Director of Purchasing Services
Responsible Unit
Purchasing Services

Policy Statement

There are three categories of contractual services as they apply to University purchasing rules and procedures: general services, consultant services and personal services.

General services such as janitorial services or maintenance agreements are subject to obtaining competitive quotations or bids as outlined in Policy 1231, Solicitation of Bids and Quotations. These services are purchased by submitting a requisition to Purchasing Services.

Consultant services are defined as work or tasks performed either by individuals (who are considered independent contractors) or by companies possessing specialized knowledge, experience, expertise and professional qualifications to investigate assigned problems or projects and to provide counsel, review, analysis or advice in formulating or implementing improvements in programs or services.  This includes but is not limited to the organizing, planning, directing, controlling, evaluating and operating of a program, agency, or department. Consultant services are procured through Purchasing, are normally acquired under competitive purchasing procedures, and must be approved by the Governor or designee before a Request for Proposal is issued or approval for a sole-source contract is sought. The designee at the University is the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

Personal services are provided on a temporary or occasional basis by a professional individual using his/her professional skills to perform a professional task.  Examples include services provided by a doctor, dentist, attorney, architect, professional engineer, scientist, performer of the fine arts or similar professions, referee for athletic events, workshop or conference speaker and programmer. Individuals who perform personal services are considered Independent Contractors. Prior approval must be obtained from Disbursement Services before engaging an Independent Contractor (see Policy 708).

Reason for Policy

This policy is to clarify the different types of services and the procurement policy for each.


  • Consultant services for instructional services, curriculum development or academically oriented research are exempt from the normal rules for purchasing consultant services.
  • Architectural and engineering services, or other similar services related to building construction, maintenance and repair, are arranged through Facilities Services (Planning and Design).
  • Services such as installation that are incidental to the purchase of supplies, materials or equipment are acquired under the same requisition used for the equipment or supplies.
  • Services provided directly by an agency of the State, Federal or local government, or their employees when performing service as part of their normal governmental function, are purchased through Purchasing; however, competition is not required for such services.

Special Situations



  • 1226.1 - Creating a Requisition
  • 708.2 - Paying an Independent Contractor

Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are contractual services contracts required to be approved by the department?
A: Yes, to ensure the department has reviewed and agreed to the terms of the contract.

Q: Are there any required disclosures or information that must be included in the service contract?
A: Yes, the University terms and conditions for goods and services, statement of work or time and materials and any pertinent information that can affect the outcome of the contract.

Q: What is the difference between an independent contractor and a consultant when acquiring a service?
A: An independent contractor is an individual who is personally providing a service such as a lecture or music performance. A consultant may be an individual providing a service but the service is acquired through a company, a contract is signed by the company and the University and payment is made to the company rather than the individual.

Related Data

Contractual Services references:
Powers and duties of Secretary of Administration, N.C. General Statute 143-49(3)
Rules of Secretary of Administration, N.C. General Statute 143-53(4)


Goods and Services Purchasing Services 919-962-3774 919-962-0636


October 1, 2014: Revised naming of requisition.
July 26, 2010