Chapter 6: Contracting

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Section 1: Introduction

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Authority for Contracting

The Education Code, Sections 67.24 and 85.29, Research and Experimentation for the Texas Department of Transportation, allows TxDOT to contract with The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas A&M University System to conduct research relating to transportation.

The Education Code, Chapter 150, Transportation Research, allows TxDOT to contract with any Texas public senior college or university to conduct research relating to transportation.

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Types of Contracts and Programs

Cooperative Research and Implementation Agreement (CRIA) — A CRIA contains a set of standard provisions either required by state or federal law, or agreed to during negotiations between TxDOT, Universities and Federal agency. Each University or Federal agency wishing to perform a TxDOT research and implementation project must first execute a CRIA with TxDOT.

The standard provisions in each CRIA are incorporated by reference into each Project Agreement executed under that CRIA.

Project Agreements (PAs) — Each research or implementation project conducted by a university is represented by a Project Agreement executed between the Research and Technology Implementation Division (RTI) and a Texas state-supported university. Each Project Agreement includes, but is not limited to:

Annual Programs — provides for both an Annual Program of Research and an Annual Program of Implementation between each University, Federal agency, and TxDOT.

Each annual program is composed of one or more projects with similar sources of funding. Combining these projects under a single program gives the University or Federal agency some flexibility for sharing funds between projects.

The sum of the contracted budget amounts for all the projects in a university’s annual program sets that program’s total funding. Although billings may exceed the contracted budget amounts on individual projects, as described in Article 9A of the CRIA, total billings for all projects in a university’s annual program may not exceed that program’s total funding.

Independent Projects — Article 9B of the CRIA provides for research and implementation projects which are independent of an annual program. These projects are funded from sources different from the funding sources for an annual program, or from multiple funding sources. Consequently, these projects cannot share funding with other projects and must be contracted independently.

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Contract Communications Management

Generally, the Project Manager will inform the research team of the necessary stakeholders, the procurement milestones, and the expected formal communications relevant to each project.

Each communication also specifies the point(s) of contact during certain phases of the procurement milestones and performance periods of each project. Key roles are defined in each communication and include, but not limited to, the following:

Contract Specialist – point of contact for:

Project Manager – after contract award, manages the day-to-day project activities, including, but not limited to, oversight of equipment purchases, reviewing and acceptance of reports and deliverables, as well as communicating with researchers.

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Non-Discrimination

It is TxDOT’s policy that no person shall on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, genetic information, or disability be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of our programs, including the research program. This policy is reflected in all executed CRIAs, most predominantly in Article 24.

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