Published: February 11, 2020
The Contract Review Service is a free program from the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) that helps guard member cities from problems that can arise in contractual relationships. The focus is on insurance and liability provisions that may adversely affect a city’s interests.
Staff looks for contract trouble areas such as:
- Incomplete or unclear decision-making processes;
- Unclear definitions of responsibility, liability, and identification of the parties.
Advice and recommendations on insurance coverage and limits also are provided to help ensure the city’s interests are protected.
Most service contracts are eligible for a premium deduction if risk has been appropriately transferred to the contractor. The only way to get the deduction is to have your contracts reviewed by LMCIT. (Professional service contracts and construction contracts are not eligible for a deduction.)
Send us your joint powers and mutual aid agreements
Staff will review most contracts — but review of all joint powers agreements and mutual aid agreements is especially important. These kinds of agreements may contain defense and indemnity provisions that aren’t in the best interest of LMCIT members working together.
Since the program was formed during 2007, staff has reviewed contracts that address mutual aid and joint powers agreements and service contracts for:
- Police, fire, and other emergency services*;
- Sanitary districts;
- Garbage removal;
- Building inspection; and
- Other intergovernmental agreements that range in topic from naming rights for a city building to leasing of water tower space, and from operation of a food shelf to employment contracts.
*Please note: review of all law enforcement service contracts is required.
LMCIT will work directly with your city attorney
LMCIT’s review does not replace the services of city attorneys. In fact, staff often works directly with city attorneys during the review process. Review can be as broad or as narrow as needed to respond to specific member concerns and to protect members’ interests.
Please contact Chris Smith, Risk Management Attorney, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (651) 281-1269 or (800) 925-1122, the next time your city begins to draft an agreement, or during review of an existing agreement.