14.57 – Procurement of Professional Services Contracts

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Scope: NMSU System

Source: ARP Chapter 14 | Business Operations

Rule Administrator:

Last Updated: Not Available



Revision History:

2017 Recompilation formerly Rule 2.56.05

A. Application

This Rule provides for the procurement of professional services. Professional services covered by the statute are the services of architects, archeologists, engineers, land surveyors, landscape architects, medical arts practitioners, scientists, management and system analysts, certified public accountants, registered public accountants, lawyers, psychologists, planners, researchers, and persons or businesses providing similar services.


B. Purchases of Professional Services

The university may procure professional services in accordance with professional services procurement regulations promulgated by the Procurement Services Office and approved by the board, or when procuring professional design services, in accordance with the selection procedures approved by the board for certain contracting with or procuring the services of accountants, attorneys, and medical practitioners, and for which there must be prior approval by the executive vice president and provost.


C. Procurement of Professional Services, Excluding Professional Design Services, Not Exceeding $20,000

Before contracting with any person or firm to provide required professional services, the Procurement Services Office must process a professional service contract or agreement in advance of the services being performed.  The process will include confirmation of independent contract status, inquiries for conflict of interest, adherence to employment regulations, and will require the appropriate authorization signatures.  The Procurement Services Office shall examine the qualifications of the firm or individual and shall determine if the required services are at a fair and reasonable price.  If a fair and reasonable price cannot be reached, negotiations will be terminated with that source and negotiations begun with the next most qualified source.  Procurement requirements shall not be artificially divided so as to constitute a small purchase under this section.


D. Procurement of Certain Professional Services, Excluding Professional Design Services, in Excess of $20,000

When the Procurement Services Office is procuring professional services whose estimated costs will exceed $20,000 such procurement shall be made using competitive sealed proposals. Such competitive sealed proposals shall be solicited through a Request for Proposals which shall include the specifications for the services to be procured; all contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement; and the date, time, and place where such proposals are to be received and reviewed.  The Request for Proposals shall state the evaluating factors and the relative weight to be given the factors in evaluating the proposals.  Notice of the Request for Proposals shall be published not less than 10 calendar days prior to the date set for receipt of proposals.  The notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area.  Other methods adopted by the Procurement Services Office shall be used to notify prospective offerors that proposals are being solicited, including publication in a trade journal, if available.  Request for Proposals shall be sent to those businesses which have indicated an interest in submitting proposals for particular categories of services.  Offerors submitting proposals may be afforded an opportunity for discussion and revisions of proposals.  Revisions may be permitted after submissions of proposals and prior to award for the purpose of obtaining the best and final offer.  Negotiations may be conducted with responsible offerors who submit proposals found to be reasonable and likely to be selected for award.  Taking into consideration the evaluation factors, the award shall be made to the responsible offeror whose proposal is determined most advantageous.  The award of a professional service contract may be based upon criteria which does not include price.


E. Procurement of Accountants, Attorneys, and Medical Arts Practitioners

Inasmuch as the selection of accountants, attorneys, and medical arts practitioners involves decisions other than price, including but not limited to knowledge of the university, its staff, faculty, employees, students, personal reputation, rapport with the Board of Regents and administration, and approval by state agencies (such as the state auditor), the selection of such individuals shall be approved by the executive vice president and provost.  This approval must be given before the selection is presented to the business office for processing.  Neither proposals nor competitive bids are required for such procurement.  The executive vice president and provost shall determine the method of selecting these professionals on a case by case basis.  All such individuals so employed shall be subject to termination without cause upon such notice as the executive vice president and provost determines appropriate under the circumstances.  A request for proposals shall be required for the selection of an outside auditor if the same auditor is used consecutively for 3 years.


F. Sole Source Procurements of Professional Service, Excluding Professional Design Services

A professional service contract may be awarded without competitive sealed proposals, regardless of the estimated cost if the Procurement Services Office makes a determination, after conducting a good faith review of available sources and reviewing a written justification submitted by the requiring department, that because of its unique capabilities there is only one source for the required services.  Negotiations shall be conducted with the selected source for price and terms in order to obtain the price most advantageous to the university.  Research consultants may be considered sole source.