Policy 5215 – Professional Services

Revision Date: 11/2002

Responsible Office: Purchasing Officer

Reference: LRS 39:1481-1526; Title 34, Part V


The Purchasing Department is charged with administering the rules and regulations adopted by the Louisiana Office of Contractual Review (OCR) for the procurement, management, control and disposition of all professional, personal, consulting, and social services contracts required by University Departments.

Louisiana Revised Statutes Title 39:1481-1526 directly addresses the laws governing Professional, Personal, Consulting, and Social Services Contracts. The official rules and regulations of the Office of Contractual Review appear in Title 34, Part V of the Louisiana Administrative Code.

The Purchasing Department decides all matters of policy relative to professional, personal, consulting, and social services contracts for the University.


When submitting a contract to the Purchasing Department, the person initiating the contract must certify in writing the following:

  1. Either no employee of our agency is both competent and available to perform the services called for by the proposed contract or the services called for are not the types readily susceptible of being performed by persons who are employed by the state on a continuing basis;
  2. The services are not available as a product of a prior or existing professional, personal, consulting, or social services contract;
  3. When applicable, the requirements for consulting or social services contracts, as provided for under Louisiana Revised Statutes Title 39:1503, have been complied with.
  4. The (Department of _______) has developed and fully intends to implement a written plan providing for:
    1. The assignment of (provide names) to a monitoring and liaison function; and
    2. The periodic review of interim reports or other indicia of performance to date; and
    3. The ultimate use of the final product of the services.
  5. A cost-benefit analysis has been conducted which indicates that obtaining such services from the private sector is more cost-effective than providing such services by the agency itself or by an agreement with another state agency and includes both a short-term and long-term analysis and is available for review.
  6. The cost basis for the proposed contract is justified and reasonable.
  7. A description of the specific goals and objectives, deliverables, performance measures and a plan for monitoring the services to be provided are contained in the proposed contract.
    • They comply with all laws and regulations, and
    • Funding is available, and
    • The proposed services are reasonable and advisable.


According to the Accounting and Ledger Manual, “Professional services includes expenditures for services provided in specialized or highly technical fields by sources outside the University.” These would include Accounting and Auditing, Consulting, Legal or Medical fees, to name a few. Refer to the Accounting and Ledger Manual for the appropriate budget object codes.

When you bring someone to the University that meets this criteria, a purchase requisition is required to pay that person or business. There are several things that can be done that will facilitate the processing of that payment. First, be sure proper documentation is attached. You will need a completed professional services form, signed travel authorization if the University is paying any of the expenses for that person, a signed W-9 and a copy of the contract. For payments in excess of $1,000 a formal contract is recommended and for amounts in excess of $2,000 a contract is mandatory. (The University is required to submit Professional Service Contracts that exceed $20,000 to the State’s Office of Contractual Review for their review and approval. The approval process sometimes takes a month or longer and payments to the contractor cannot be made prior to receiving their approval. Any professional service in excess of $50,000 requires that the Office of Contractual Review solicit proposals. The University would send specifications and ask that they request bid proposals. Contracts between $20,001 and $50,000 and bid proposals in excess of $50,000 must be sent to the Purchasing Department for submission to the Office of Contractual Review.)

If you have paid that person or company for a professional service within the past year and a W-9 was submitted at that time, you may simply put the person’s social security number or federal ID on the requisition and make a notation that W-9 is on file in the Comptroller’s Office. A completed W-9 is also a federal requirement on the payment of Stipends, which have a budget object code 6504 as well as Awards that carry a budget object code of 6502.

Requisitions received without complete documentation must be returned to the department. To avoid this delay, please double-check all paper work. As with all payment requests, be sure to allow sufficient time for processing the requisition if the check is needed by a specific date. As a rule, it takes 5 to 8 working days for a check to be issued once the purchase order has been received in the Comptroller’s Office. When you receive your copy of the order, you may expect payment to be made within that time frame.