Q: When can I retain the services of an independent contractor?

A: Independent contractors may be used to provide personal services to CSU and its departments whenever there are funds budgeted and appropriated for the cost of the service, the need for the service has been approved by the appropriate department head or dean, and verification has been made to establish that there is no state-classified position for providing the same services. (If you are uncertain as to whether there may be such a state-classified position, please contact the Human Resources Services Department, (970) 491-6947, http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/.

State laws require that independent contractors not be used when state classified employees are available to perform the same services which are to be purchased. However, certain types of contracts are not subject to this requirement.

These include:

  • Contracts with another state entity;
  • Contracts with a term of six months or less, if the service to be purchased is not expected to recur on a regular basis and written certification to this effect has been provided to the Contracts Manager along with the proposed contract;
  • Contracts for personal services which, if provided by an employee, would be performed by a person who would be exempt from the state personnel system, e.g., faculty members, administrative professionals, or students;
  • Contracts for professional services such as architects, engineers, or physicians;
  • Construction contracts made after following the public bid process;
  • Contracts for instructional services, where qualified state personnel system instructors are not available and written certification to this effect has been provided to the Contracts Manager along with the proposed contract;
  • Most contracts for service or maintenance of equipment, machines, and scientific instruments leased or owned by the University;
  • Other contracts for which use of a state employee is not feasible, will not allow the goals for which the services are sought to be accomplished, or will result in undue costs to the state which could be avoided by use of an independent contractor.

Every contract for personal services must be routed to the Office of Contracting Services for review after approval by the appropriate department head or dean, the Department of Purchasing, and review by the Director of Human Resources. Download a standard Independent Contract form agreement

Other important points to remember when preparing a contract for independent services are:

  1. For more information about Contractor Approval Procedures and tax implications, please see Accounts Payable's Independent Contractor Questionnaire.
  2. For more information about Financial Procedures Instructions regarding Independent Contractors, please see BFS FPI 2-19.
  3. Contact the Office of Contracting Services for assistance with any non-standard terms or conditions to be included in the contract agreement.