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Consultancy Agreement

Guide to The University of Queensland (UQ) standard consultancy agreements

1. Latest update

  • 28 January 2016 - A new (revised) consultancy letter inserted for use by Animal Genetics Laboratory and, also, paragraph 5.1(e) of this Guide was revised.  
  • 5 June 2014 – A link in section 4.2 below to a template CSIRO consultancy letter was removed as that template is no longer intended for use. There is no template CSIRO consultancy letter intended for current use.
  • 17 April 2014 – Amendment to paragraph (a) of section 3 (Conditions of Use).
  • 27 February 2013 – Revised QFAB conditions were made available for use through the link in section 4.4 of this guide.
  • 26 November 2012 – This current version of this guide was placed on the Legal Office website.
  • 19 October 2012 – The revised consultancy letters referred to in section 4.2 of this guide were made available for use on the Legal Office website.

2. UQ’s standard consultancy agreements

2.1 Types of consultancy agreements

UQ has standard consultancy agreements for:

  1. the supply of consultancy services by UQ; and
  2. the receipt of consultancy services by UQ.

2.2 Letter format

The agreements take the form of a consultancy letter which is to be sent to the other party to the proposed consultancy. The letter (including appendices) contains the details of the proposed consultancy. There is an acceptance panel in the letter and, upon receipt of the letter, the other party is to complete that acceptance panel and then return the completed letter to UQ.

2.3 Access and use

There are links to the consultancy letters in section 4 of this guide.Those letters are available for use subject to the conditions and the guidance contained in this guide. Please read this guide carefully.

3. Conditions of use

The standard consultancy letters may be issued without review by UQ’s Legal Office and without the letter being signed by UQ’s Chief Operating Officer in the following limited circumstances only:

  1. The consultancy fee is equal to or less than the financial delegation of the person signing – see clause 6.3 of PPL 1.10.03 (Contract Delegations) and the relevant bands in PPL 1.10.02 (Financial Delegations). (A consultancy must not be split into multiple separate agreements for the purpose of bringing it under that amount).
  2. The consultancy does not involve research work, clinical trials or construction.
  3. The blanks in the consultancy letter and in Appendix 1 to that letter are completed prior to the signing and mailing of the letter (those blanks provide space for insertion of the name of the other party, details of the consultancy services, the fee to be paid etc).
  4. No amendments or additions are made to the letter (save for completion of the blanks) or to the general conditions in Appendix 2 of the letter.
  5. No students or third party is involved in provision of the consultancy services where it is UQ which is providing those services.
  6. You are using the current version of the relevant consultancy agreement (see paragraph 4.2 below).
  7. You have obtained any necessary UQ approvals for entry into the consultancy agreement.
  8. You have complied with any relevant UQ policies and procedures (including, where relevant, UQ’s Purchasing Policy 9.40.01 and the Outside Work and Business Interests for University Staff Policy 1.50.02. UQ’s Policies and procedures are available on UQ’s website in its Policies and Procedures (PPL) library).
  9. The proposed consultancy is not a high risk consultancy. (High risk consultancy agreements must be reviewed by the Legal Office. High risk consultancies include, for example, business critical consultancies and consultancies with a substantial downside for UQ if they are not performed with skill and care.)
  10. You have carried out a risk assessment where there is a risk associated with the proposed consultancy which requires such an assessment. (If you have any queries regarding when such an assessment is required, contact UQ’s Corporate Operations, Enterprise Risk Unit).
  11. The consultancy letter is signed by a person with delegated authority to do so. In that regard, see the Delegations Table.

4. The consultancy agreements

4.1 Types

As noted in section 1 above, there is a consultancy agreement for the supply of consultancy services by UQ and there is also a consultancy agreement for the receipt of consultancy services by UQ.

4.2 Current version

The current consultancy agreements (with the exception of the QFAB agreement which is dealt with separately in paragraph 4.4 below) were posted on the Legal Office website on 19 October 2012 and are made up of the following:

  1. a consultancy letter offering the proposed consultancy. The letter contains a number of blanks which are to be completed on a case by case basis (for example, there is a blank where the proposed consultancy fee is to be inserted);
  2. an Appendix 1 to the letter. A description of the consultancy services (including deliverables) is to be inserted into this appendix;
  3. an Appendix 2 which contains UQ’s standard consultancy terms of trade (the “General Conditions”);
  4. the consultancy letter contains an acceptance panel which is to be completed (e.g. signed etc) by the other party to the proposed consultancy and then returned by that party to UQ.

Links to those consultancy letters (including appendices) are set out below:

See section 5 below for guidance in the completion and use of those consultancy letters.

4.3 Previous version (where the consultancy letter included a website link to the General Conditions)

In the previous form of consultancy agreement (not for current use) the consultancy letter contained a link to the general conditions instead of including those general conditions in an appendix to the letter (as is currently the case). If you entered into a consultancy agreement with that link, the link will have been for the purpose of access to one of the following sets of general conditions which remain the relevant general conditions for that particular agreement:

4.4 QFAB

Below are the General Conditions used by QFAB when it submits a proposal for the provision of services by QFAB:

5. Guidance in use of the consultancy letters

5.1 General

The following guidance is provided for completion and use of the consultancy letters (please contact the Legal Office if you have any queries):

  1. (Choose appropriate letter) Choose the appropriate consultancy letter for your consultancy from those referred to in paragraph 4.2 above.
  2. (Complete the letter) Complete those parts of the letter which require completion (i.e. those parts identified by square brackets). (See paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 below for guidance on completion of those parts of the letter relating to the name of the other party and relating to the consultancy fee).
  3. (Complete Appendix 1) Complete Appendix 1 to the letter by including a complete and unambiguous description of the consultancy services and deliverables to be provided. In doing so, include any relevant timelines for provision of particular parts of the services. Appendix 1 is a very important part of the agreement. Take care in completing it. Avoid use of acronyms unless you define those acronyms in the appendix.
  4. (Letterhead and signatory) The consultancy letter must be printed on the authorised delegates university letterhead (which must include UQ’s ABN 63 942 912 684) and be signed by the delegate in duplicate. (The reference here to an “authorised delegate” is to a person who has authority to enter into the proposed consultancy agreement on behalf of UQ. In that regard, see the Delegations Table).
  5. (Esuring acceptance) The consultancy letter contains an offer to the recipient.  The last paragraph in the letter specifies the manner in which that offer can be accepted (i.e by return of the letter with the acceptance panel in it competed).  It is important that the offer is accepted in that manner before the consultancy begis.
  6. (Records) When you receive the completed letter back from the other party, retain a copy of it for your records and send the original completed copy to UQ's Records and Archives Management Services (RAMS @ The Warehouse Rm 302A Building 99 St Lucia)

5.2 The other party (getting the name and ABN correct)

There is provision in the letter for inclusion of the name of the other party in the heading and, also, in the first paragraph of the letter. There is also provision for inclusion of that party’s ABN in the first paragraph of the letter.

In order to complete those parts of the letter, you should obtain the following information from the other party:

  1. the full and correct name of that party;
  2. that party’s ABN number.

Upon receipt of that information, you should carry out an ABN search of that ABN number to ensure it is in fact the ABN for the name which has been provided to you. It’s important that they match. An ABN search can be carried out online by use of the Commonwealth governments “ABN Lookup” service which is available free online via a Google search of “ABN Lookup”.

If the name provided and the ABN provided don’t match, it indicates that there is an error in either the name or the ABN that have been provided to you by the other party. That needs to be clarified with that party.

5.3 Consultancy fee (method of payment)

You will see that the consultancy letters (except for the Animal Genetics Laboratory letter) contain three payment options:

  • Option A – the one payment on completion of the consultancy services;
  • Option B – periodic payments linked to certain events or dates;
  • Option C – an hourly or daily rate of payment. Where this option is chosen, there is also provision for inclusion of a maximum amount (a cap) on the total amount payable. The inclusion of that cap is important.

In completing the letter, the preferred option from amongst those options is chosen and the other options removed.

6. Conclusion

Should you have any queries relating to the consultancy agreements, do not hesitate to contact the UQ Legal Office at the following e-mail address: legaloffice@uq.edu.au.