Local Government Act 2000

21Overview and scrutiny committees

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(1)Executive arrangements by a local authority must include provision for the appointment by the authority of one or more committees of the authority (referred to in this Part as overview and scrutiny committees).

(2)Executive arrangements by a local authority must ensure that their overview and scrutiny committee has power (or their overview and scrutiny committees have power between them)—

(a)to review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, in connection with the discharge of any functions which are the responsibility of the executive,

(b)to make reports or recommendations to the authority or the executive with respect to the discharge of any functions which are the responsibility of the executive,

(c)to review or scrutinise decisions made, or other action taken, in connection with the discharge of any functions which are not the responsibility of the executive,

(d)to make reports or recommendations to the authority or the executive with respect to the discharge of any functions which are not the responsibility of the executive,

(e)to make reports or recommendations to the authority or the executive on matters which affect the authority’s area or the inhabitants of that area.

(3)The power of an overview and scrutiny committee under subsection (2)(a) to review or scrutinise a decision made but not implemented includes power—

(a)to recommend that the decision be reconsidered by the person who made it, or

(b)to arrange for its function under subsection (2)(a), so far as it relates to the decision, to be exercised by the authority.

(4)Subject to subsection (5), an overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority may not discharge any functions other than its functions under this section.

(5)If or to the extent that a local authority’s function of conducting best value reviews under section 5 of the [1999 c. 27.] Local Government Act 1999 is not the responsibility of an executive of the authority, the authority may arrange for their overview and scrutiny committee (or any of their overview and scrutiny committees) to conduct such a review.

(6)An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority—

(a)may appoint one or more sub-committees, and

(b)may arrange for the discharge of any of its functions by any such sub-committee.

(7)A sub-committee of an overview and scrutiny committee may not discharge any functions other than those conferred on it under subsection (6)(b).

(8)Executive arrangements by a local authority must include provision which enables—

(a)any member of an overview and scrutiny committee of the authority to ensure that any matter which is relevant to the functions of the committee is included in the agenda for, and is discussed at, a meeting of the committee, and

(b)any member of a sub-committee of such a committee to ensure that any matter which is relevant to the functions of the sub-committee is included in the agenda for, and is discussed at, a meeting of the sub-committee.

(9)An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority, or a sub-committee of such a committee, may not include any member of the authority’s executive.

(10)An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority, or any sub-committee of such a committee, may include persons who are not members of the authority, but (subject to any provision made by or under paragraphs 7 to 9 of Schedule 1) any such persons are not entitled to vote at any meeting of such a committee or sub-committee on any question which falls to be decided at that meeting.

(11)An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority, or a sub-committee of such a committee, is to be treated—

(a)as a committee or sub-committee of a principal council for the purposes of Part VA of the [1972 c. 70.] Local Government Act 1972 (access to meetings and documents of certain authorities, committees and sub-committees), and

(b)as a body to which section 15 of the [1989 c. 42.] Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (duty to allocate seats to political groups) applies.

(12)Subsections (2) and (5) of section 102 of the [1972 c. 70.] Local Government Act 1972 are to apply to an overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority, or a sub-committee of such a committee, as they apply to a committee appointed under that section.

(13)An overview and scrutiny committee of a local authority or a sub-committee of such a committee—

(a)may require members of the executive, and officers of the authority, to attend before it to answer questions, and

(b)may invite other persons to attend meetings of the committee.

(14)It is the duty of any member or officer mentioned in subsection (13)(a) to comply with any requirement so mentioned.

(15)A person is not obliged by subsection (14) to answer any question which he would be entitled to refuse to answer in or for the purposes of proceedings in a court in England and Wales.