6850 Personal Service Contracts

Original Date: 1/9/1996 * Last Revision Effective: 10/19/2015
Policy Contact: Vice President, Administrative Services


Under RCW 39.29 and office of financial management regulations, personal services are professional or technical services provided by a consultant to accomplish a specific study, project, or task specified in a statement of work. Consultants who provide personal services can serve the college in a variety of ways: offering professional opinions, judgments, or recommendations based on specialized knowledge or technical training; conducting studies and analyzing and evaluating the results; assisting in policy development; providing training to improve managerial processes and college operations. Personal services contracts may be awarded to individuals, joint ventures, partnerships, corporations, or non-profit organizations.

A state agency may procure personal services only if the services are critical to agency operations; if the agency does not itself have sufficient staffing or expertise to perform the service; and if other qualified public resources are not available to perform the service.

Although personal service contracts vary widely, they have some features in common. Such personal services are, in general:

  • infrequent;
  • of a set, temporary, and usually brief duration;
  • procured to resolve a particular problem or address a specific issue;
  • performed by independent consultants whose occupation is the rendering of such services;
  • performed off-site at the consultant’s place of business whenever possible;
  • performed by consultants who do not have authority to decide, command, or control college affairs;
  • performed by consultants who are not under the college’s supervisory or managerial control;
  • governed by a contract which specifies results rather than method of performance.

A current or former college employee may not enter into a personal service contract with Bellevue College (but may be hired on an overtime assignment or hourly basis).



  • Any state office or activity of the executive and judicial branches of state government, including state agencies, departments, offices, divisions, boards, and commissions, and educational, correctional, and other types of institutions.


  • An independent individual or entity contracting with an agency to perform personal services or render an opinion or recommendation according to the consultant’s methods and without being subject to the control of the agency except as to the result of the work. The agency monitors progress under the contract and authorizes payment. Generally referred to as “contractor” in personal service contracts.

Personal Service

  • Professional or technical expertise provided by a consultant to accomplish a specific study, project, task, or other work statement. This term does not include purchased services as defined below.

Personal Service Contract

  • An agreement, or any amendment thereto, with a consultant (contractor) for the rendering of personal services. Personal service contracts may render services to state agencies, businesses, providers, other contractors, etc. If, however, services are provided directly to agency clients, the contracts are classified as client service contracts.

Purchased Services

  • Services provided by a vendor to accomplish routine, continuing, and necessary functions. Generally, these services meet more ongoing needs of an agency for general support activities. This term includes, but is not limited to, services acquired under RCW 43.l9.190, the authority of the department of general administration (GA), office of state procurement, or RCW 43.105.041, the authority of the department of information services (DIS).

Examples of GA purchased services include: delivery/courier services, equipment rental, janitorial services, standard laboratory tests, laundry services, and towing services.

Examples of DIS purchased services include: contract programming, technology support, computer hardware and software maintenance, software installation, data entry, operation of a physical plant, and standard IT training related to hardware or software in use by an agency.


  • OFM’s authority to analyze the filed contract or amendment based on compliance with the competitive procurement, filing and other requirements of Chapter 39.29 RCW does not authorize OFM to approve or disapprove the contract filing.

Sole Source

  • Contract awarded without competition, because the consultant providing the professional or technical expertise has skills, knowledge or ability of such a unique nature that the consultant is clearly and justifiably the only practical source to provide the service. The sole source award may also be based on the uniqueness or highly specialized nature of the services, sole availability of a consultant at the location required or other special circumstance.

State Funded

  • Funded with dollars that are: (1) appropriated by the Washington State Legislature and/or (2) allotted by the agency.

Relevant Laws and Other Resources

Revision History

Original 1/9/1996
Revisions 5/10/2005; 5/21/2009; 9/24/2012; 10/19/2015

Approved By

President’s Cabinet

Last Updated October 19, 2015