Our decision making process

Role of Councillors

Councillors make decisions on how we spend the money and which services we provide to the people of the Borders. Councillors can only do this within the bounds of the legislation which governs the Council. Departments are managed by Directors who make sure that the decisions of the Councillors are carried out.


The Councillors make their decisions in various committees. Each of these committees has a particular remit and you can find out more about each Committee in our Scheme of Administration. The conduct of each Committee meeting is governed by our Standing Orders.


Reports are produced by our officers for each committee meeting. This gives Councillors relevant information to allow them to come to a decision on a particular matter. This may seem like a time consuming business, but it is important that Councillors have enough information to allow them to make a considered judgement on behalf of the people of the Borders.


We have also chosen to delegate some decisions to our officers. Details of this are to be found in our Scheme of Delegation.

No decision is ever delegated to an individual Councillor. Councillors cannot make decisions on their own but must do so either collectively at a committee meeting, or in consultation with our officers.

The Code of Governance

Councillors and our officers must work within a framework of rules, based on legislation. The principles of good governance are openness, integrity, and accountability, and are defined in, and applied to, us, through our Code of Governance.

There are four key documents which constitute the Code of Governance:

  1. standing Orders are the rules which govern the conduct of our meetings and our committees
  2. the Scheme of Administration details the delegation of decision making powers to Committees and Sub Committees, with each committee only able to debate and decide on the matters within its own remit
  3. the Scheme of Delegation details our decision making powers which have been delegated to our officers
  4. financial Regulations contain the procedures for dealing with all our financial matters

These four documents give the framework of rules and regulations within which the Councillors and our staff must work.