Authority/Reference(s) Texas Government Code §411.185; 45 CFR 75.361-370
Revision Date July 1, 2016

Policy

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services DFPS must develop and maintain a records retention schedule to manage records. The DFPS Records Management Officer (RMO) is responsible for coordinating the development of the schedule and ensuring it remains current.

DFPS staff must comply with records retention requirements for contract related documents, as required in the DFPS certified records retention schedule.

The following are examples of records that DFPS must retain per the retention schedule:

  • Contract records are maintained as paper or electronic files and are accessible to the public (with few exceptions) under the Public Information Act.
  • Contract and procurement records are defined as Vital Records, meaning that off-site duplicates must be maintained for disaster recovery purposes.
  • Contract audit findings.
  • Contract billing and payment records.

Documentation and Record Keeping

An official contract file must be maintained for each of the department's contracts. The file for each DFPS contract must contain complete, accurate and up-to-date contract information. At a minimum, the following documentation must be maintained in the official contract file:

  • The original, signed contract with attachments
  • All amendments and plan changes to the contract with attachments
  • All required contract forms
  • Completed Risk Assessment Instruments (RAI) for the contract, if applicable; and
  • All contract correspondence, including billing and monitoring documents

Documents that are not an essential part of the contract file (such as monitoring working papers) must be referenced in the contract file and maintained in a central and accessible location.

DFPS contract files should include all documentation that would help someone unfamiliar with the contract understand the details regarding:

  • Specifically what the department is purchasing from the contractor;
  • The history of the contractual relationship;
  • How the contractor is fulfilling their commitment to the department at any given time; and
  • The timing and nature of any changes to the original contract.

Documentation can include:

  • Copies of reports or documents that contain information upon which risk assessment score assignments are based (as well as notes that explain the logic used to determine the scores);
  • Monitoring and other reports, notes, correspondence, billing invoices and program staff communications regarding the contractor.

All items in the contract file should be signed and dated, as applicable, and filed in a logical and easy to follow order. This will serve as backup documentation for department and external audits. This information enables the contract manager to review and describe the contractor's performance and risk status whenever there is a need to do so (for example, during monitoring activities or in response to contractor, department, or client concerns).

More information regarding contents of a contract file may be found in the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Contract Management Guide.