Authority/Reference(s) DFPS Management
Revision Date November 3, 2017

Contract staff are responsible for adhering to all applicable rules and regulations to promote contracting accountability for state and federal funds. A contract is an agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law. Government contracting is subject to more laws and regulations than contracting for private entities.

DFPS Contracts Legal

Throughout the Contract Lifecycle, contract management staff are supported by DFPS Contracts Legal.

Laws Governing DFPS Contracts

Federal laws governing DFPS contracts include:

  • U.S. Constitution;
  • Federal statutes and treaties;
  • Federal regulations [e.g., Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB)];
  • Case law and administrative decisions; and
  • Grants or contractual Terms and Conditions between U.S. and DFPS.

State laws that govern DFPS contracts include:

  • Texas Constitution;
  • Texas Statutes [e.g., Texas Government Code (TGC) and Texas Human Resource Code (HRC);
  • Texas rules [e.g., Texas Administrative Code (TAC)];
  • Case law and administrative decisions; and
  • Contractual Terms and Conditions between DFPS and contractors.

Other Parties

The other parties with whom DFPS contracts with may be referred to as contractor, vendor, recipient or subrecipient. For the purposes of consistency, within the Contract Handbook, the term contractor means the legal entity doing business with DFPS.


The contractor must be another legal entity (e.g., individual, partnership, corporation, governmental entity). All entities except the individual are creatures of the law and do not exist without the law.


DFPS must always contract with a true legal entity and obtain signatures from the legal entity's authorized representatives (e.g., individual for an individual, general partner of a partnership, official with properly delegated authority for a governmental entity, official with properly delegated authority for a corporation).

Contract Enforceability

No matter what the agreement is called, if it does not create an obligation that is not otherwise imposed by the law, it is not a contract. If it does create an obligation beyond the general law, which the courts or the administrative hearing officer could order the parties to perform or pay damages because of a breach of that obligation, it is a contract.