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Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

16Requirement to call officer to account
This sectionnoteType=Explanatory Notes has no associated

(1)For the purposes of this section, a petition “requiring an officer to be called to account” by a principal local authority is an active petition made to the authority in relation to which the conditions in subsection (2) are met.

(2)Those conditions are that—

(a)the petition is signed by the specified number of persons who live, work or study in the authority’s area,

(b)the petition requests that an officer of the authority (whether identified by name or description) be called to account at a public meeting of the authority,

(c)the officer is a relevant officer, and

(d)the petition gives grounds for the request which relate to the discharge of functions for which the officer is responsible.

(3)In subsection (2)(a), “specified number” means the number specified for the purposes of this section in the principal local authority’s petition scheme.

(4)In subsection (2)(c), “relevant officer” means an officer of the principal local authority of a description specified for the purposes of this subsection in the authority’s petition scheme.

(5)The descriptions of officer specified under subsection (4) must include—

(a)the statutory chief officers of the authority within the meaning of section 2 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (c. 42),

(b)the non-statutory chief officers of the authority within the meaning of that section, and

(c)the head of the authority’s paid service.

(6)A principal local authority’s petition scheme must secure the results in subsection (7) where—

(a)a petition requiring an officer to be called to account by the authority is made to the authority, and

(b)the authority operates executive arrangements.

(7)The results in this subsection are that the steps taken by the authority under section 14(5) include or comprise the following steps—

(a)the exercise by an overview and scrutiny committee of the authority of its power under subsection (13)(a) of section 21 of the Local Government Act 2000 (c. 22) to require the relevant person to attend before it to answer questions;

(b)after the relevant person has attended before the overview and scrutiny committee, the making by the committee of a report or recommendations to the authority under subsection (2) of that section;

(c)the sending by the authority of a copy of that report or those recommendations to the petition organiser.

(8)A principal local authority’s petition scheme must secure the results in subsection (9) where—

(a)a petition requiring an officer to be called to account by the authority is made to the authority,

(b)the authority does not operate executive arrangements, and

(c)under or by virtue of any enactment the authority has a committee with power—

(i)to require officers of the authority to attend before it to answer questions, and

(ii)to make reports or recommendations to the authority.

(9)Those results are that the steps taken by the authority under section 14(5) include or comprise the following steps—

(a)the exercise by the committee referred to in subsection (8)(c) of its power to require the relevant person to attend before it to answer questions;

(b)after the relevant person has attended before the committee, the exercise by the committee of its power to make a report or recommendations to the authority;

(c)the sending by the authority of a copy of that report or those recommendations to the petition organiser.

(10)In each of subsections (7)(a) and (9)(a), “relevant person” means—

(a)the officer identified in the petition, or

(b)if the committee referred to in that subsection considers that for the purposes of addressing the concerns raised by the petition it would be more appropriate for another officer of the authority to attend before it, that officer.

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