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Non-Purchasing Contract Approval and Administration Procedure - 61.15.01

College Policy Number/Title:

This procedure addresses all non-purchasing contracts that Howard Community College (HCC) engages in for non-employee based matters. All contracts for the employment of full- and part-time faculty and staff should follow established personnel policies and procedures and be prepared in accordance with the parameters set forth in the approved operating budget. All purchasing contracts should follow established purchasing policies and procedures.

In all contracts, there shall be no conflict or appearance of conflict between the contracting party and the college. Strict compliance with contract requirements is necessary.

Some examples of non-purchasing contracts include:

Contracts in which the college is selling services such as:

  • contracts with organizations, business, and industry to offer programs or services;
  • facility use contracts; or
  • camps.

Contracts in which the college is exchanging services such as:

  • hospital / health facility agreements; or
  • cooperative agreements with other schools or organizations.

Contracts in which the college is offering or exchanging services are to be handled in accordance with the college’s signature authority matrix. Review, approval, and filing of these contracts is noted on the matrix.

All changes to a contract must be in writing and signed by both parties. All changes must follow the route of review and approval noted on the signature authority matrix. If a contract originally required approval of the board of trustees, any amendment or assignment will require board action.

Any employee negotiating a college contract must consider the following items for inclusion in the contract:

  • statement of work that includes the terms and conditions;
  • a timetable of performance milestones;
  • a plan for measuring performance;
  • reports and due dates;
  • subcontracting plans;
  • any multi-year contract will become null and void if funding for the goods or services covered by the contract is not included in future years' budget. These contracts should include the following wording: “Continuance of this contract beyond the current fiscal year is contingent upon funding;” and
  • no contract may include an indemnification/hold harmless clause, which indemnifies the vendor or the party, unless reviewed and approved by the college’s risk manager.

The board of trustees is the repository of all governing agreements for HCC. Pursuant to board policy, the board of trustees must approve all contracts whereby the college incurs legal responsibility for programs or provides contractual services. The board may authorize the president or designee to approve contracts required for the everyday routine operation of the college.

All college contracts must be reviewed and approved in accordance with the college’s signature authority matrix and these principles.

  • In accordance with this procedure and subject to any express limitations, the president has delegated authority to approve contracts to the vice presidents, associate vice presidents, executive directors, directors, and division deans, and executive associate to the president. Delegation of authority does not relieve the supervisor of ultimate responsibility for the review and approval of the contract.
  • College employees may not approve a contract or agreement that exceeds the scope of their authority.
  • Any agreements that require the college to indemnify and hold harmless third parties must be referred to Howard County Risk Management through the administration and finance area or college legal counsel for review and approval.

The president or designee may sign non-purchasing agreements up to $100,000 if the non-purchasing agreement is a renewal of an ongoing contract. In determining signature limits, if reimbursable fees or other items increase the fixed cost of the contract above the administrator's limit authority, the individual is not authorized to sign the contract.

Reports to the Board

Disclosure reports on major or unusual non-purchasing contracts that are signed by the president or designee will be issued to the board in the board’s audit and finance committee materials twice a year. Other contracts requiring board approval will be presented to the board as they occur.

All contracts that sell or exchange services are to be maintained in the office noted on the college’s signature authority matrix. All amendments and modifications to the contract, including change orders, assignments, releases, etc. must be placed in the contract file in the office as noted by the matrix.


Utilizing the college’s signature authority matrix, all review and approval authorities involved in non-purchasing contracts must be notified at the earliest possible moment of a potential dispute and should be involved with that contract for all future transactions.

Contract Closeout

Based on the college’s signature authority matrix, the administrator charged with supervision of the contract will determine whether all administrative matters have been concluded for the contract. Administrative matters may include such items as:

  • confirmation of current insurance/liability coverage;
  • timetable for receipt of contract product, reports, etc.;
  • project evaluation reports, if applicable; and
  • schedule for timely renewal of contract.

Final billings should be made to parties who have contracted for services within 30 days of completion of the contract by HCC. The contract is then filed in the office noted on the college’s signature authority matrix.

Effective Date: 10/08/21

Non-Purchasing Signature Authority Matrix

President's Office Use:  PRES/VPAA

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