Contracting for Personal Services

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse secures the personal services of individuals and business entities through one of two methods:  an employer-employee relationship (hire) or an agreement with an independent contractor.

Academic Support Service:  If the service is from an independent contractor, if it is of a unique or noncompetitive (sole source) nature, and if it supports instruction, research, or public service, it will be considered an Academic Support Service.

Independent Contractors:  These may include speakers and guest lecturers in a nonpublic setting.  Officials for athletic events and contest judges may also be considered independent contractors.  An independent contractor is not eligible for fringe benefits and is not subject to State liability protection or eligible for Workers and Unemployment Compensation.  Generally, an independent contractor situation exists if the service is provided regularly and continuously to the general public, and the service is the principal source of livelihood or profit.  The institution may not control how the work must be done, only the result of the work.  An independent contractor may be an individual, a group of individuals or a business entity.

Competitive Sourcing:  If the service desired is available from more than one source, competitive procurement rules apply and standard purchasing bid and waiver regulations must be followed.  Contact De Anne Otto at 608.785.8724 or otto.dean@uwlax.edu for assistance.

Unique, Sole Source: Some services provided by independent contractors represent special talents needed by UW-La Crosse on a temporary basis to fulfill its missions of instructions, research an public service.  These talents may be unique and available only from a single, sole source.

Mission Support: Academic Support Services are provided in support of the University's missions of instruction, research, and public service.

Academic Support Service Agreement (ASSA): If the cost for the Academic Support Service equals or exceeds $5,000, an Academic Support Services Agreement form must be completed and approved before the service may be performed and before any payments may be made to the service provider.  The sequence for processing the ASSA is as follows:

  1. The supported (sponsoring) department or division completes the ASSA form.

  2. The service provider (contractor) completes and signs the FOR THE CONTRACTOR portion of the ASSA.

  3. Please complete the ASSA and submit to Business Services at least 60 days prior to any work being performed on the UW-L campus. This will ensure the proper paperwork is in place to facilitate payment upon completion of the work.

  4. The ASSA is forwarded to Budget & Finance for review and approval.

Academic Support Services Payments: Payments for Academic Support Services may be made through either a Payment to Individual Report or from an invoice, if the contractor is a business entity with a tax identification number.  UW-La Crosse will comply with IRS and State of Wisconsin reporting and withholding requirements.

Tax withholding for non-resident speakers/entertainers: If someone who is not a resident of Wisconsin contracts with UW-L to provide entertainment or public speaking services, and the total contract price exceeds $3,200, Wisconsin law requires UW-L to withhold 6% of the fee for tax purposes. This law is very broad and covers almost any kind of performance or lecture. The withholding process is handled by Accounts Payable at the time the payment is processed, but the speaker/performer must be made aware ahead of time, since the withholding will affect the amount of their net payment. Please contact the Contract Administrator for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:  How do I determine the difference between an employee-employer relationship and an independent contractor?
A:  Look at Factors to Consider.  If you are still in doubt, contact the Contract Administrator for more information.

Q:  What type of form or contract should be used for Academic Support Services that are less than $5,000?
A:  The ASSA form must be used for services less than $5,000.  It is always a good business practice to have a written agreement describing what service is being provided, when and where it is to be provided, and the payment terms.  Any written agreement on behalf of UW-La Crosse must be signed by an authorized UW-La Crosse Contracting Officer.

Q:  Can the ASSA ever be used for a personal service not related to instruction, research or public service?
A:  No.  The Academic Services Support concept originates from unique, non-competitive services needed for our instruction, research, and public service missions.  Other personal services are not unique in the same manner and should be obtained through normal purchasing processes.

Q:  Who is the contracting officer at UW-La Crosse who will verify that a contractor is providing a unique, non-competitive service?
A:  The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget & Finance will make the final determination, but you may contact the Contract Administrator for more information for assistance with this determination.

Q:  To whom do I submit PIRs and invoices for ASSA payment?
A:  All actions and inquiries for ASSA payments should be addressed to an Accounts Payable accountant.

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