The supplier’s responsibilities are to deliver the service as specified in the contract. The contract should make reference to the SLA making clear its legal standing as the document states the specific detail in respect of the day-to-day provision of the service. This may seem obvious as it emphasises the work as originally envisaged, however, it also permits collaboration between the parties to ensure the continued quality of the service, smooth administration, and the discussion and implementation of improvements in cost, quality, volume and new services.
The SLA provides the means of updating and refining the day-to-day provision of the services within the contract as well as providing the ‘rules’ for the provision of the service and expectations of the end-users.
In practice, it is often reasonable to ask the supplier to prepare the first draft the SLA for discussion and agreement between the parties because the supplier will better understand the service to be provided and how best to perform it. Care should be taken to ensure that the contents are fair to both parties.
Depending on the kind of service, the supplier may also be responsible for informing end users of the content of the SLA, possibly by producing a pamphlet, or making it available on the institution’s Web site (probably accessible from both the Managing Department and Procurement Offices home pages).