What are Standard Agreements?
Standard Agreements are the University's preferred legal agreements and staff should try to use these agreements, wherever possible. "Standard Agreements" are pre-approved template contracts accessible only through the HotDocs online portal.
Why use Standard Agreements?
Standard Agreements improve the University's ability to create effective agreements quickly and accurately because:
- They are available to be completed online through HotDocs by approved users, known as "Contract Facilitators";
- They are pre-approved by the Legal Office, so they represent a reasonable allocation of risk and liability between contractual parties (which protects the University) and contain certain clauses that the University needs to ensure are in relevant types of contracts (for example, consultancy agreements under which the other party provides services to the University should contain a clause about compliance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 in relation to handling personal information);
- If the terms and conditions of the Standard Agreement are not modified, there is no requirement to have the agreement reviewed by a University Lawyer prior to execution, which reduces workload for the Legal Office and also means that University staff are not required to complete a Legal Assistance Form; and
- In many cases, there are more University staff members with the authority under Schedule A of the Delegations Rule to execute a Standard Agreement than a Non Standard Agreement of the same type and value, which can make arranging internal execution quicker and easier.
Structure of Standard Agreements
Standard Agreements have two parts being the Agreement Terms and the Agreement Details.
The contractual terms of Standard Agreements are intended to be non-negotiable. If a third party wishes to amend the terms of a Standard Agreement, the University staff member negotiating the contract will need to complete an online Legal Assistance Form and seek advice from the Legal Office. A Legal Compliance Statement is required if the terms of a Standard Agreement are amended. The Legal Office will issue a Legal Compliance Statement prior to the agreement being forwarded to SCU's delegate for signing. See the Non Standard Agreements and Legal Advice webpage for more information and for access to the Legal Assistance Form.
The details of the parties' arrangements may be negotiated and are recorded in the Agreement Details Schedule that appears at the front of each Standard Agreement. These details can be input into the Standard Agreement by the Contract Facilitator or by another University staff member, if the Contract Facilitator indicates that they would prefer for that to occur. The information recorded in the Agreement Details section must not amend the Standard Agreement terms or else legal review is required, as described in paragraph (a) above.
Signing Standard Agreements
Standard Agreements may be signed by the third party and the University delegate in whichever order the parties find most suitable.
Staff seeking to be added to the Contract Facilitators' list should contact the Legal Office on email@example.com to seek system access and training on Standard Agreements. Contract Facilitators will have access to the relevant Standard Agreement instruction sheet and will be able to:
- Provide that instruction sheet to the relevant SCU employee for completion; or
- Complete the instruction sheet personally, based on information provided by the contract initiator.
An instruction sheet (or "interview", as it is also called) is essentially a standard set of questions which, if answered, enable creation of a Standard Agreement.
Where a staff member other than a Contract Facilitator completes the interview/instruction sheet, they will return it to the Contract Facilitator electronically via the document management software provided.
The Contract Facilitator will ensure the information provided via the Instruction Sheet is accurate (names, ABN etc.) and, when satisfied all details are correct, will generate the Standard Agreement. The Contract Facilitator will then forward the Standard Agreement for signing in accordance with the Delegations Rule and Schedule A.
Disclosure of Staff Details (Privacy)
Contract Facilitators' names and work email addresses, and the names and contact details of University staff members and external parties detailed in a Standard Agreement, will be disclosed overseas to HotDocs. HotDocs uses facilities operated by Microsoft Corporation (Windows Azure) by virtue of its cloud computing services arrangements. SCU is reasonably satisfied that the countries in which those cloud computing facilities operate have similar privacy protections to those afforded under Australian law: University's Privacy Management Plan. If you have any concerns about your privacy, please contact the Privacy Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.