What is Scrutiny?

Legislation implemented in May 2001 required 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 implemented. 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.

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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 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.

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 have evidence that suggest a decision was not taken in line with the correct process, or does not adhere to the principles of decision-making in our Constitution. It should only be used in exceptional circumstances.

The chair of  any Overview and Scrutiny Committee or any five members of council can call-in a decision.