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Section 4: Other Services

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Overview

The ROW Program Office contracts for other types of services to assist the appraiser and Assistant Attorney General in the acquisition of property and eminent domain proceedings. These services may provide reports and information on issues that may be beyond the expertise of the appraiser. Their services are often required for testimony in eminent domain proceedings and assisting the OAG in trial preparation.

There are many kinds of services and the following list provides some examples used by TxDOT:

After a report is received and reviewed by ROW PD, the report must be submitted to the ROW Program Office. In addition, ROW PD should furnish the report to the appraisers.

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Mandatory Data

It will be necessary for the reports to contain the following:

Contracts will be executed before any work is performed. They are prepared on a per hour basis using either form ROW-A-46 Contract for Services of Expert Witness or form ROW-A-47 Contract for Services of Technical Expert, depending upon the type of assistance needed by the appraiser or the Assistant Attorney General. Such contracts are to be signed by the Right of Way Division Director, or designee. The original copy will be submitted to the ROW Program Office when submitting for payment.

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Fees

Each ROW PD office is expected to determine the appropriate hourly fee as befitting the economy of the project, county, or district locality. When an assignment is made, ROW PD is to reach agreement with the expert as to the maximum time considered adequate to complete the report, if applicable, and to establish a maximum limit on the expert’s fee. Time in excess of the time limit without prior written approval by ROW PD will not be allowed. Should additional time be requested by the expert, ROW PD will review the request and amend the contract if warranted, have the amended contract executed by all parties, and document this approval in the ROW Program Office’s files for audit purposes.

In those isolated cases where, as the work progresses, it is found that the authorized hours initially determined are not equitable to the state or the expert, the contract will be amended to reflect a new or expanded scope of work. This will establish a revised fee and document the reason(s) requiring the revisions. ROW PD will document this approval in its files for audit purposes.

For eminent domain proceedings, it is necessary to reach an agreement with the expert as to the maximum time considered adequate for preparation and testimony. If the OAG has requested the use of an expert, ROW PD shall provide the written request from the OAG to ROW PD by attaching it to the expert witness contract submission. ROW PD, in conjunction with the OAG, should maintain adequate documentation to assure that services have been rendered as charged and that only needed services have been performed.

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