Reviews provide the opportunity to look at services, policies, and any other areas of concern in which we have control or input.
Care is taken that reviews are balanced and that any recommendations for change to any service or policy are achievable. Although every review is different, the approach to them is similar.
The Committee will:
- decide exactly what the review will look at (the scope)
- gather information through background research
- invite “expert witnesses” to attend meetings to answer questions and provide evidence
- analyse that information and evidence
- make recommendations.
Reviews can either be undertaken by the full Scrutiny Committee at one of its regular meetings, or the Committee can choose to set up a working group to undertake the review.
A working group will comprise members of Scrutiny, other Councillors who are not on the Executive Committee, and sometimes people from outside the Council if they have experience or knowledge of the subject under review.
Working groups do not make decisions but report their findings and recommendations to the full Scrutiny Committee, which will then decide what recommendations to make to the Executive Committee.
Checking on Executive Decisions – the “call-in” procedure
A decision made by the Executive Committee can be “called-in” by any 5 Councillors, who must give a clear and specific reason for wishing the decision to be reviewed.
It is the job of the Scrutiny Committee to investigate the reasons for the call-in and make any recommendations on the original decision back to the Executive Committee.
If the Executive Committee does not accept the recommendations of the Scrutiny Committee, then the matter will be referred for a final decision to full Council.