10.2 Service Agreements
In general, service agreements are handled through OGC and PAFO. They typically indicate that BU will provide services to another entity, or that another entity will provide services to BU. Projects must be in accord with the mission of the University and must contribute to the objectives of the department and school. Service agreements may address a variety of areas:
• Service agreement for analysis or assay.
• Use agreements (may include equipment, facilities, computer programs).
• Physician specialties (excluding VA Administration).
Service Agreements that include the loan of equipment should involve both OSP and the Sourcing and Procurement Department to ensure that the terms are consistent with those typically negotiated with an equipment vendor and place the University in a position of minimal risk and liability. Other considerations include the eventual disposition of the loaned equipment, cost of equipment maintenance, and possible confidentiality of equipment specifications or performance. While the data resulting from a testing agreement may be linked with a sponsor’s material (which may or may not be proprietary), the agreement should not prohibit publication by the University of the PI/PD’s methods.
Budgeting for service agreements assumes recovery of full cost including F&A. Payment of testing or analysis performed on a piece of equipment purchased with federal funding may be accountable as program income to the federal award or may be prohibited for use outside the University. Consideration should be given to the need for insurance. Testing arrangements must be competitive with the costs assessed by commercial organizations, and there must be some academic benefit to the activity. In some circumstances, BU may choose to subsidize some external users when there is significant benefit to the institution to do so. Any inappropriate use of testing agreements may be subject to unrelated business income tax. Finally, indemnification of BU should be part of every Service Agreement.