MGT254. Contracts and Procurement
Writing a Personal Services Contract
A contract is simply an agreement that specifies the rights and responsibilities of the signatories. It can be one sentence long or can stretch out for hundreds of pages. There are two primary factors that affect the length of a contract: 1) the size and complexity of the effort that needs to be undertaken; 2) the level of detail that the parties feel compelled to write into the written document.
Clearly, while small, simple efforts can be covered by short agreements, large, complex undertakings will tend to be accompanied by lengthy, complex contracts. For example, a contract to build a nuclear power plant will be a massive document. If nothing else, the sheer quantity of detail that needs to be handled is enormous, and the act of documenting this detail will consume many pages. Beyond this, nuclear power plants have liability issues that must be incorporated into the contract – as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl showed us, they can be dangerous places. Thus the legal portion of the contract can consume hundreds of pages.
Even fairly small efforts can be defined by lengthy contracts if the parties insist that nothing be left to the imagination. For example, one contract might specify that Room 222 be painted Ivory White (# 6201B, Brite Paint mix), following standard professional painting practice, while another contract might define in great detail what painting practice should be pursued (e.g., cover the furniture, remove face plates from switches, remove all hardware from doors, cover the floors with a drop cloth, etc.) The second contract will be much longer than the first.
You want to hire a professional editor to help your film scripting group to put together a script for a two-hour documentary on the lives of illegal immigrants in Texas. It is estimated that the editor will be employed by your organization for three months and will be paid $250 per day. For the most part, he/she will be editing work that your colleagues have already written, or are in the process of writing. But it is clear that the editor should be able to write new material when the occasion arises. For the editor to function properly, he/she needs to attend project meetings for the project and be capable of interviewing key people when necessary.
This is all the information you have been given regarding the editor’s potential chores. You are asked to write a professional services contract that both your Vice President and the editor will sign.
1. What items and issues should be included in the contract?
2. Compose a short professional services contract that your company can use on the documentary project
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