How does scrutiny work?

Scrutiny Committees are similar to Parliamentary Select Committees.  Scrutiny is not a decision-making body, but does have the power to influence, investigate and persuade. Good scrutiny should be evidence based and unaffected by the bias of political parties and provides non-Cabinet Members from all parties an important role to play in the running of the Council.

There are two Scrutiny Committees that support the work of the Cabinet and the Council as a whole.  These are:-

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

The Overview and Scrutiny Committee monitors the decisions of the Cabinet or an individual Member of the Cabinet. It can, in certain circumstances, consider ‘calling-in’ a decision that has been made but not yet implemented. This enables the Committee to consider whether the decision is appropriate and ensure that all evidence has been presented to Cabinet for them to make the right decision.  Pre-decision scrutiny is undertaken by monitoring items on the Council’s Forward Plan.

The Committee may also look into a range of other topics and can gather information from a range of sources; by inviting officers or other stakeholders as witnesses or from internal and external sources of data.  The Committee may also conduct Scrutiny Reviews which look at topics in detail and provide reports and recommendations to the Cabinet.  Scrutiny Reviews can be conducted by Task and Finish Groups who will report their findings back to the Committee.   

The Committee reviews the Council’s performance within the Performance Management Framework and makes recommendations to the Cabinet/Service areas as appropriate, to ensure good performance levels are maintained.

The Committee also discharges the statutory functions arising under Section 19 Police and Justice Act 2006 relating to crime and disorder. The Committee can also receive requests from Members in respect of Councillor Calls for Action.

Audit and Risk Scrutiny Committee

The Audit and Risk Scrutiny Committee has three specific responsibilities:

  • to fulfil statutory Audit functions in respect of the Council’s financial and non-financial operations;
  • to consider all aspects of the Council’s Risk Management arrangements; and
  • to consider aspects of the Council’s arrangements for Member Code of Conduct.

The Audit and Risk Scrutiny Committee may also appoint a sub-committee (Standards Sub-Committee) to conduct a Hearing into an allegation that a Member or Co-opted Member has breached the Authority’s Code of Conduct.

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 29, 2019