What is Scrutiny?
Legislation implemented in May 2001 requires every council to have a scrutiny process in place. Each council has developed its own kind of scrutiny service but all scrutiny services involve at least one committee or group made up of Councillors. Scrutiny has a "watch dog" role, as it concentrates on improving the district council's performance by monitoring, questioning and making recommendations on the way that services are provided, decisions taken and policies carried out. At the heart of the overview and scrutiny process is the consideration of what impact our policies and plans will have on the people and the communities of South Kesteven - the process ensures that the right decisions are taken in the first place.
Who / what can be scrutinised?
Any decision we make, and indeed any aspect of how we operate, can be scrutinised. This includes decisions made by our full Council, Cabinet and regulatory committees, and decisions delegated to officers to make.
The only decisions which can actually be "called-in" are Cabinet and Portfolio Holder decisions, as well as any officer decisions. Key decisions are Executive decisions involving large amounts of expenditure or those likely to have a significant impact on two or more wards in the district.
What is a call-in and who can do it?
A call-in means that any actions relating to a decision stop until the Scrutiny Committee can look into it, and recommend what to do. This happens when one or more of our Members has evidence which suggests that a decision was not taken in line with the correct process, or not adhering to the principles of decision-making in our Constitution. It should only be used in exceptional circumstances.
The Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee or any five members of Council can call-in a a decision.
Our Scrutiny policy and procedure
We have three Policy Development Groups (PDGs): Communities, Engagement and Resources. The PDGs look into and review issues before they reach the formal decision stage. This mechanism is vital to make sure that all key decisions are made openly, fairly, and for the benefit of our residents.
The Scrutiny Committee:-
The role of the Scrutiny Committee is to call-in decisions of the Cabinet which it thinks have not been made in line with the decision making rules. The Committee can review the services we deliver and how we deliver them, and drive improvement in the Council's performance for the benefit of the communities of South Kesteven. The Scrutiny Committee can also look into other matters - not necessarily just our services, but also issues of concern to our residents. E.g. local health care