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RULE §81.131Contracting with the County Election Officer

(a) The SOS has prepared a Primary Election Services Contract and a Joint Primary Election Service Contract (the "Model Contract"). Copies of the appropriate Model Contract may be obtained from the SOS.

(b) The county chair may use the Model Contract when executing an agreement for election services between the county executive committee and the county elections officer. (Contractible election services are listed in Subchapter B of Chapter 31 of the Texas Election Code.)

(c) The Model Contract may be revised as necessary to accommodate the specific agreement between the county chair and county election officer; however, activities not required by law are not payable with primary funds. Accordingly, those activities should be identified in the contract, including a stipulation as to whether the county chair or the county election officer will be responsible for the cost. Each contracting entity shall report the costs for which it is responsible via the online primary finance system prescribed by SOS. The entity that reports said expense(s) will receive direct payment from SOS for those expense(s). Costs reported by the county election officer qualify for the ten percent "general supervision fee" authorized under §31.100 of the Texas Code. Expenses reported by the county chair qualify for the county chair compensation (see §81.119 of this chapter (relating to County Chair's Compensation)).

(d) The county election officer must submit to the county chair an accounting of the actual costs incurred in the performance of the election services contract. In addition, the county election officer shall report the primary-eligible expenses to SOS via the online primary finance system prescribed by SOS.

(e) The SOS may only pay actual costs incurred by the county and payable under provisions of the Texas Election Code, an election-services contract, or these administrative rules. Costs prohibited by this chapter that appear in the election service contract are not reimbursable with primary funds and must be articulated as such in the contract. Counties may not charge a flat fee for services unless the county can produce a methodology that demonstrates the fee is equal to or less than the actual costs incurred by the county, except when authorized by statute. Charges may be set at a rate of up to ten (10) percent of the annual license and maintenance fees for the software used to create the ballot style and program the electronic voting equipment.

(f) Salaries of personnel regularly employed by the county may not be paid from or reimbursed to the county from the primary fund even if the employee used their vacation time to perform the duties.

(g) A county election officer may not contract for the performance of any duty or service that he or she is statutorily obligated to perform.

(h) Section 31.100 of the Texas Election Code authorizes the election officer to assess a "general supervision fee" of up to 10 percent against the amount of the contract. The general supervision fee will not be applied to any services in which the county election officer subcontracts with another vendor that assesses a surcharge or administrative fee.

Source Note: The provisions of this §81.131 adopted to be effective December 13, 2009, 34 TexReg 8665; amended to be effective March 7, 2012, 37 TexReg 1483; amended to be effective January 9, 2014, 39 TexReg 209; amended to be effective November 9, 2015, 40 TexReg 7811; amended to be effective October 29, 2017, 42 TexReg 5853

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