Why do we have Scrutiny?
One of the main objectives of the Modernising Local Government (MLG) agenda was to introduce greater accountability for elected members regarding decisions they made on behalf of their local community, whilst speeding up the decision making process that was previously perceived as being slow and overly bureaucratic. The whole democratic process needed to be more visible and inclusive for local people. The introduction of the Local Government Act 2000 recognised these weaknesses and made proposals for local authorities to establish new political arrangements based on ‘Executive’ and an independent ‘Scrutiny’ function.
What is the role of a Scrutiny Committee?
The main roles and responsibilities of scrutiny committees are outlined below:
- Scrutiny committees examine how well the Executive Board and/or Authority is performing in delivering its key aims and objectives
- They ensure that the Executive Board is publicly held to account and seeks to promote open and transparent decision making and democratic accountability
- Scrutiny also has a key role to play in the development, monitoring and review of Council policies
- Scrutiny committees have the designated responsibility for overseeing the effective implementation of the Wales Programme for Improvement including the undertaking of review programmes and associated action plan monitoring processes
- They allow for the participation of external organisations and partners in consideration of issues that may impact upon the delivery of Council and countywide objectives