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Scrutiny, Performance and Standards Committee

This page lists the meetings for Scrutiny, Performance and Standards Committee.

Information about Scrutiny, Performance and Standards Committee

To review and/or scrutinise decision made, or actions taken in connection with the discharge of any of the Council’s functions.

 

To make reports and/or recommendations to the Full Council and/or any Committee in connection with the discharge of any functions.

 

To consider any matter affecting the area or its inhabitants, including the ability to scrutinise the work of any other public sector body or partner of the Council.

 

To monitor the Council’s performance against agreed indicators.

 

To ensure that Members maintain high standards of probity in their public life by forming a sub-committee to consider standards complaints referred by the Monitoring Officer.

 

Responsibility for Functions

 

1.          Review and/or scrutinise decision made or actions taken in connection with the discharge of any Council’s functions

 

2.          Make reports and/or evidence based recommendations to the Council and any committee or joint committee in connection with the discharge of any functions.

 

3.          Consider any matter effecting the area or its inhabitants.

 

4.          Make reports and/or evidence based recommendations to the Council and/or its Committees and/or any joint committee on matters which affect the Council’s area or the inhabitants of that area.

 

5.          To oversee the financial reporting process including scrutiny of the treasury management strategy and policies.

 

6.          Monitor the adequacy and effectiveness of the arrangements in place for combating fraud and corruption, including scrutiny of the Council’s Anti-Fraud Policy.

 

7.          Policy development and review:

 

a.            Review existing policy and recommend changes to such policy or the creation of a new policy;

b.            Assist the Council in the develop of its Budget and Policy Framework by in-depth analysis of policy issues;

c.            Conduct research, involve the community and carry out other consultation in the analysis of policy issues an the possible options;

d.            Consider and implement ways to encourage and enhance community participation in the development of the policy options;

e.            Question members of committee and senior officers about their views on issues and proposals affecting the area; and

f.              Liaise with other external organisation operating in the area, weather national, regional or local, to ensure that the interest of local people are enhanced by collaborative working.

 

In doing so, the Scrutiny, Performance and Standards Committee will be able to:

 

a.              Select significant issues to investigate, which are both strategic and linked to the Council’s Corporate Priorities;

b.              Undertaken pre-investigation projects planning: drawing up terms of reference, plan for research methods to be used; timescales; officer supports and reporting mechanisms;

c.               Involve partner, the public and outside experts; this can take the form of presenting orally or in writing evidence around the topic under investigation;

d.              Report findings and make evidence-based recommendation to the appropriate Committee;

e.              Follow up on actions agreed to ensure that the Scrutiny, Performance and Standards decision have been implemented.

 

The focus of the policy development and review exercise could relate to:

 

a.                   Whether the intended policy outcomes have been achieved;

b.                   Whether services have been taken up by the intended client group;

c.                   Processes used in service delivery;

d.                   Assessing whether service provision is addressing the needs of the community;

e.                   How satisfied customers are the current service provisions;

f.                     Whether resources are allocated effectively for the service.

 

The policy development and review function could be discharged in a number of ways including:

 

Task and Finish Review Groups (Working Groups) comprised of a selection of Scrutiny, Performance and Standards Committee Members, as well as potentially other co-opted Members (e.g. external experts) and members of the community.

 

 

Scrutiny

 

 

a.          Scrutiny: review and scrutinise the performance of committees and Council officers and decisions made both in relation to individual decisions and over time;

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

c.           question members of committees and senior 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 when necessary;

d.          exercise the right to call-in, for re-consideration, decisions made but not yet implemented by any committee, where appropriate;

e.          make evidence based recommendations to the appropriate committee and/or Council arising from the outcome of the scrutiny process;

f.            review and scrutinise, with or without others, the performance and activities of other public bodies in the area on any relevant, general or specific issue;

g.          question and gather evidence from any person (with their consent) when necessary; and

h.          exercise overall responsibility for the work programme of the officers employed to support their work.

i.             Responsibility for monitoring the performance of any partnership arrangement.

j.             Ability to undertake joint scrutiny activity with Rochford District Council for any matters of common interest to the strategic partnership.

k.           To formulate and keep under review the Council’s arrangements for handling complaints and investigations by the Local Government Ombudsman.

l.             The Scrutiny, Performance and Standards shall report annually to Council on its workings and make evidence based recommendations for future work programmes and amended working methods if appropriate.

 

Standards Sub-Committee

 

The Standards Sub-Committee will be convened as and when required by the Monitoring officer to consider standards complaints in line with the Council’s Code of Conduct complaints procedure.

 

The Sub-Committee will comprise of 3 members of the Scrutiny, Performance and Standards Committee and must be cross-party.

 

The primary function of the Standards Sub-Committee are:

 

·         To receive reports referred from the Monitoring Officer following investigations into complaints against Borough and Parish Councillors.

·         To conduct standards hearing and all other steps associated with the function, including taking into account the advice of the Independent Person.

·         If the panel determines that a breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct has occurred, the panel can impost one or more of the following sanctions, if appropriate:

a)    Public Censure

b)    Report to Council

c)     Recommend action to the Leader or Mayor of the Council

d)    Recommend actions to Group Leader;

e)    Recommend removal from Outside Bodies;

f)      Requesting the Member to undertake actions deemed appropriate e.g. training, issue of an apology.

The Sub-Committee will also act as an interview panel for the recruitment of Independent Persons before commending appointments to the Full Council.