PHD Computer Consultants Ltd
... Contracts, Money and all that
Last modified: 29 September 1998.

Page Contents On-site Links
Contract types
More conditions
Data Protection Act
Health and Safety

Contract types

Yes, I am afraid that we have to earn a living. So after an initial free consultation, we usually work in one of two ways.

A daily rate is just that, a price per 7 hour day. Expenses and materials are usually extra. Unless otherwise agreed, any support is still chargeable, even - heaven forbid - doing bug fixes.

Alternatively we do fixed price projects. This gives you peace of mind that your budget will not be overrun. Not surprisingly this will usually work out slightly more expensive than a time and materials project. However we usually offer 3 months free support, ie bug-fixing. Usually the fixed price includes limited expenses, eg regular travel to your site.

After checking references, we usually give you a month to pay from invoice; after that interest is charged at 2% per month. For larger projects, we request staged payments on milestone completion.

Good causes, as determined by us, may get reduced rates. We have not done it yet, but talk to us about barter or LETS tokens.

More Conditions

We insist that you sign off a functional specification that we produce before work starts in earnest.

Similarly you must sign off the completed software, once it has successfully completed acceptance testing.

We follow the common practice of warning that all new software has bugs; that's why we give a three month warranty on fixed price projects for bug fixing, ie during your beta testing and field trials.
A recent United Kingdom court case has asserted that software should be fit for its purpose, ie free of substantive bugs. We insist that you have reasonable periods of (A) beta testing and (B) field trials.
Honestly, we will do our reasonable best to supply good software. If you give us a decent amount of time (and money) to write the software then it will be better. See development techniques for the range of development options available.

We do not have any professional indemnity insurance. For an extra charge this could be provided on a project-by-project basis.

Data Protection Act

Personal data held on computer in the UK must comply with the Data Protection Act, 1984. I understand that there is some new EU legislation.

For most business uses, this means that you must pay to register your databases. The registration form asks for details of the information held, where it is obtained from, and to whom it may be disclosed.

Individuals may request a copy of their database record(s) for a small fee.
They may also obtain a copy of your registration from the DPR.

Some restricted uses of a database may be exempt from registration, provided you comply with certain restrictions.

Contact the Office of the Data Protection Registrar, Springfield House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AX, telephone 01625 535777, fax 01625 524510.

Health and Safety

Health and Safety regulations require employers to ensure that computer workstations and software are safe.

Care must be taken to ensure that the display, desk, chair, lighting and work materials are properly arranged.

As developers we try to ensure that software is easy to use, and suits both beginners and experienced users. Context-sensitive help text is recommended.

There is a £5 HMSO booklet on Display Screen Equipment Work, ISBN 0 11 886331 1.
Contact the HSE Information Centre, Broad Lane, Sheffield S3 7HQ, telephone 0114 289 2345 fax 0114 289 2333.

PHD Home page