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Overview and Scrutiny Commission

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Information about Overview and Scrutiny Commission

Terms of Reference


The Overview and Scrutiny Commission shall:


1.                  Develop a work-programme of overview and scrutiny reviews and policy development projects, in consultation with the Executive and the Corporate Management Team.


2.                  Appoint a number of overview and scrutiny panels, managing and updating their work-programme as necessary, including considering any request from an overview and scrutiny panel, or any member thereof, to add an item to the work programme.


3.                  Review decisions made but not yet implemented by the Executive and any other Committee, where these have been called-in.


4.                  Itself, or through an overview and scrutiny panel:


·                     Review and/or scrutinise decisions made or actions taken in connection with the discharge of any of the Council's functions.


·                     Consider any matter affecting the Borough or its inhabitants.


5.       Make reports and/or recommendations to the full Council and/or the Executive and/or any other committee in connection with the discharge of any functions.


6.       Receive summary performance management information and question Members of the Executive and officers thereon.


7.       Ensure the efficient discharge of a robust and effective overview and scrutiny function.


8.       Prepare and submit an annual report to the Council on overview and scrutiny activities and their outcomes.


9.       Reinforce effective governance, particularly through reviewing the activities of the Council's internal and external auditors, in consultation with the Borough Treasurer.


Specific Functions


1.       Policy Development and Review:


          The Overview and Scrutiny Commission, through its overview and scrutiny panels, may:


·                     Assist the Council and the Executive in the development of its budget and policy framework by in-depth analysis of policy issues.


·                     Conduct research, community and other consultation in the analysis of particular issues and possible options.


·                     Consider and implement mechanisms to encourage and enhance community participation in the development of policy options.


·                     Question members of the Executive, other committees and officers about their views on issues and proposals affecting the area .


·                     Liaise with other external organisations operating in the area whether national, regional or local, to ensure that the interests of local people are enhanced by collaborative working


2         Scrutiny


The Overview and Scrutiny Commission may itself, or through an overview and scrutiny panel:


·                     Review and scrutinise the decisions made by and performance of the Executive, Committees and Council Officers both in relation to individual decisions and over time;


·                     Review and scrutinise the performance of the Council in relation to its policy objectives, performance targets and/or particular service areas;


·                     Question members of the Executive, Committees and officers about their decisions and performance, whether generally in comparison with service plans and targets over a period of time or in relation to particular decisions, initiatives or projects;


·                     Review and scrutinise the performance of other public bodies in the area and invite reports from them by requesting them to address the Commission or Panel and local people about their activities and performance


·                     Question and gather evidence from any person (with their consent).


·                     Make recommendations to the Executive and/or appropriate Committee and/or Council arising from the outcome of the scrutiny process.


3.        Finance


The Overview and Scrutiny Commission may exercise overall responsibility for the finances made available to them.


4.        Officers.


The Overview and Scrutiny Commission may exercise overall responsibility for the work programme of any officers employed to support their work.


Overview and Scrutiny Panels


1.       The Overview and Scrutiny Commission shall establish such overview and scrutiny panels with specific terms of reference as it shall determine, including at least the following panels:


·                     Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Panel.


·                     Adult Social Care and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Panel.


·                     Health Overview and Scrutiny Panel.


·                     Lifelong Learning and Children's Services Overview and Scrutiny Panel.


The Commission may discontinue any overview and scrutiny panel and/or appoint alternative or additional panels, subject to there being a minimum of three standing panels. The Commission may also amend the terms of reference of the panels as appropriate.


2.       Where the Overview and Scrutiny Commission seeks to discontinue or appoint overview and scrutiny panels other than as set out in the Constitution, it may do so provided that it has consulted with interested parties, if appropriate. Any change will be reported to the proper officer and then to the next meeting of the Council by the Chairman of the Commission, so that the Constitution may be amended accordingly.