Delivery, or performance, of the awarded contract is often viewed as the ‘end’ of the tender process in terms of the user getting the required goods and services. In practice, the performance of the contract may be over an extended period of time, for example the provision of services over months or years, the construction of a building etc. Even the delivery and installation of an item of equipment is, in reality, often the start of a longer-term relationship with the supplier involving maintenance, consumables etc.
When goods have been delivered they should be checked to ensure that they meet the requirements stated in the contract documentation. There will normally be a goods received note, or other similar sign-off process for services or projects that are delivered in stages, that is signed by the recipient to confirm acceptance of the goods or services.
If there is insufficient time to check the goods or services, the delivery note should be clearly marked ‘received but not checked by [name of recipient]'. The delivery should then be checked as soon as reasonably possible and any discrepancies or problems advised to the supplier immediately and confirmed in writing later.
If, for some reason, things do not run smoothly, it may be necessary to take action to solve the problem. It is important, in the event of problems arising, that you contact the contractor as soon as possible to seek a solution. In many cases, the problem can be sorted to the satisfaction of both parties. If the problems are significant, you should contact your Head of Procurement immediately and then all parties should work to resolve the problems.
When the contract has been performed to the users’ satisfaction, the supplier is deemed to have fulfilled its part of the agreement. In recognition of this, the institution makes the agreed payments as defined within the contract.
More information on the legislation that regulates contracts for the supply of goods and services is available.
A risk assessment for this stage of the procurement cycle is provided.