Overview and Scrutiny
The Role of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee consists of six members of the Council and can be any Member except Members of the Cabinet. No member is allowed to scrutinise a decision where they have been part of the decision process. Substitutes for Members on the Committee must be from the same political group and Council. The Committee sets its own workplan and can set up task and finish groups as and when considered appropriate.
The Babergh and Mid Suffolk Overview and Scrutiny Committees also conduct joint meetings on a regular basis, when similar topics have been identified, to scrutinise topics and external stakeholders and Service providers relevant to both Councils.
The Centre for Public Scrutiny have developed ‘four principles of good scrutiny’ to measure how effective a council’s scrutiny functions is as follows:
- Provides a constructive ‘critical friend’ challenge
- Amplifies the voices and concerns of the public
- Is led by independent people who take responsibility for their role
- drives improvement in public services
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee reviews items in relation to the Joint Corporate Plan and where the Committee can add value; avoiding duplication with any other Committee or working group and ensuring that, where changes have been made a significant time has lapsed before a review has been undertaken. These suggestions are worked up by the Chairs, Vice Chairs and officers into a work plan which is put to the Overview and Scrutiny Committees for agreement.
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee cannot make decisions or policies itself but has the power of influencing and can make informed recommendations to the Cabinet, Full Council and other Committees. Cabinet can also recommend that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee conduct detailed investigations of items considered to require further scrutiny before being referred back to Cabinet for final decision.
Overview and Scrutiny forms an important part of the democratic process within the Council and wider community by examining topics and continuing to monitor the outcome of its work. Where it is considered necessary to follow up on the outcome of a scrutinised topic, the Committee will conduct further scrutiny or receive updates on the topic to enable the Council to continue to deliver the best service for all residents in the District.
The Overview and Scrutiny workplans are updated every month and can be viewed on the links below:
The Overview and Scrutiny Annual Reports are presented to Full Council every year. Past annual Overview and Scrutiny Committee reports can be viewed on the links below: