Whenever a supplier delivers goods there will be a delivery note that details what has been delivered. Someone within the institution or department will, normally, be asked to sign for the goods. The signature is confirming that the goods delivered are correct and in good condition. If there is no opportunity to check the delivery the delivery note should be signed ‘Received but not checked by [name of recipient]’. The delivery should then be checked as soon as possible and any discrepancies or other problems notified to the supplier immediately.
Any problems should, normally, be advised within 3 days. The delivery docket will usually state the number of days and give details of where to notify any problems. The longer you delay advising of any discrepancies, the more difficulty you may have getting the problem sorted out.
Delivery dockets should be retained as they form part of the audit trail for the goods or services purchased and they may be required if there is a problem later.
A signed delivery docket is proof that the goods or services were delivered to the institution and that the supplier has fulfilled its obligations under the contract. If, for example, the goods were to be mislaid after they have been signed for, the institution will be liable for their cost as the supplier will be deemed to have fulfilled the contract. There may be some protection, therefore, in stating that the goods are to be delivered to a named person especially if delivery is not into an institution's a named Store or its central Post Room.