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Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009

Section 31 - Scrutiny officers

81.Each local authority operating executive arrangements is required by section 21 of the Local Government Act 2000 to have at least one overview and scrutiny committee to review or scrutinise decisions made, and to make reports and recommendations about matters whether or not they are the responsibility of the Executive; and to make reports or recommendations on matters which affect the authority’s area. Section 31 inserts new a section into the Local Government Act 2000 requiring local authorities, with the exception of district councils in areas where there is a county council, to designate one of their officers as a scrutiny officer to support the work of the authority’s overview and scrutiny committee(s).

82.Subsection (2) sets out the functions that a scrutiny officer may undertake. Typically, a scrutiny officer will promote the scrutiny function generally within the authority and local government partners more widely, and provide advice and support to members of the authority’s committee(s) in undertaking their work. This may include the provision, or management, of committee secretariat services, research, analysis of data and report preparation for example.

83.Subsections (3) to (5) specify the title of the role, those officers who may not be designated by the authority as the scrutiny officer, and the types of authority who are not required to designate an officer in this manner.

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