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16C.08 Professional or technical services.

Subdivision 1. Definition. For the purposes of this section, "professional or technical services" means services that are intellectual in character, including consultation, analysis, evaluation, prediction, planning, programming, or recommendation, and result in the production of a report or the completion of a task. Professional or technical contracts do not include the provision of supplies or materials except by the approval of the commissioner or except as incidental to the provision of professional or technical services.

Subd. 2. Duties of contracting agency. Before an agency may seek approval of a professional or technical services contract valued in excess of $5,000, it must certify to the commissioner that:

(1) no current state employee is able and available to perform the services called for by the contract;

(2) the normal competitive bidding mechanisms will not provide for adequate performance of the services;

(3) the contractor has certified that the product of the services will be original in character;

(4) reasonable efforts were made to publicize the availability of the contract to the public;

(5) the agency has received, reviewed, and accepted a detailed work plan from the contractor for performance under the contract, if applicable;

(6) the agency has developed, and fully intends to implement, a written plan providing for the assignment of specific agency personnel to a monitoring and liaison function, the periodic review of interim reports or other indications of past performance, and the ultimate utilization of the final product of the services; and

(7) the agency will not allow the contractor to begin work before funds are fully encumbered.

Subd. 3. Procedure for professional or technical services contracts. Before approving a proposed contract for professional or technical services, the commissioner must determine, at least, that:

(1) all provisions of subdivision 2 and section 16C.16 have been verified or complied with;

(2) the work to be performed under the contract is necessary to the agency's achievement of its statutory responsibilities and there is statutory authority to enter into the contract;

(3) the contract will not establish an employment relationship between the state or the agency and any persons performing under the contract;

(4) the contractor and agents are not employees of the state;

(5) no agency has previously performed or contracted for the performance of tasks which would be substantially duplicated under the proposed contract;

(6) the contracting agency has specified a satisfactory method of evaluating and using the results of the work to be performed; and

(7) the combined contract and amendments will not exceed five years, unless otherwise provided for by law. The term of the original contract must not exceed two years unless the commissioner determines that a longer duration is in the best interest of the state.

Subd. 4. Reports. (a) The commissioner shall submit to the governor, the chairs of the house ways and means and senate finance committees, and the legislative reference library a yearly listing of all contracts for professional or technical services executed. The report must identify the contractor, contract amount, duration, and services to be provided. The commissioner shall also issue yearly reports summarizing the contract review activities of the department by fiscal year.

(b) The fiscal year report must be submitted by September 1 of each year and must:

(1) be sorted by agency and by contractor;

(2) show the aggregate value of contracts issued by each agency and issued to each contractor;

(3) distinguish between contracts that are being issued for the first time and contracts that are being extended;

(4) state the termination date of each contract; and

(5) identify services by commodity code, including topics such as contracts for training, contracts for research and opinions, and contracts for computer systems.

(c) Within 30 days of final completion of a contract over $40,000 covered by this subdivision, the head of the agency entering into the contract must submit a one-page report to the commissioner who must submit a copy to the legislative reference library. The report must:

(1) summarize the purpose of the contract, including why it was necessary to enter into a contract;

(2) state the amount spent on the contract; and

(3) explain why this amount was a cost-effective way to enable the agency to provide its services or products better or more efficiently.

Subd. 5. Contract terms. (a) A professional or technical services contract must by its terms permit the commissioner to unilaterally terminate the contract prior to completion, upon payment of just compensation, if the commissioner determines that further performance under the contract would not serve agency purposes.

(b) The terms of a contract must provide that no more than 90 percent of the amount due under the contract may be paid until the final product has been reviewed by the head of the agency entering into the contract and the head of the agency has certified that the contractor has satisfactorily fulfilled the terms of the contract, unless specifically excluded in writing by the commissioner. This paragraph does not apply to contracts for professional services as defined in sections 326.02 to 326.15.

Subd. 6. Filing copy. If the final product of the contract is a written report, a copy must be filed with the legislative reference library.

Subd. 7. Exclusions. This section does not apply to contracts with individuals or organizations for administration of employee pension plans authorized under chapter 354B or 354C.

HIST: 1998 c 386 art 1 s 9; 1999 c 116 s 1

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Revisor of Statutes