OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROTCOL – CALL-IN

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					                                                                  Appendix C




                  OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY


                                         CALL-IN


                                     PROTOCOL




January 2007




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                                           CONTENTS

                                                                  Page No.

1.               Introduction                                       3

2.               Background                                         4-6

3.               Triggering the Call-In Process                     6-7

4.               Consideration of a called-in decision by OSMC      7-8

5.               Additional Information                             8-9

6.               Conclusion                                         9

7.               Contact Details                                    9

8.               Appendix A “Call In 1 Form”                       10-13




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OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY PROTOCOL – CALL-IN

Guidance to Overview and Scrutiny Members wishing to trigger the Call-
In Process

1.      Introduction

        New Constitutional arrangements introduced by the Local Government
        Act 2000 give a clear separation of powers between decision makers
        i.e. the Executive (in DMBC this is the Mayor and Cabinet) and non
        Executive Members i.e. Overview and Scrutiny Members.

        One of the key roles of Overview and Scrutiny Members is to hold the
        Executive to account for its decisions. This seeks to promote
        accountability and transparency and give an influential and important
        role to backbench Members.

        Where Overview and Scrutiny Members believe there have been
        defects within the decision making process or there are specific
        negative impacts likely to arise from the decision they may “Call-In” a
        decision within a specified timescale (the Call-In period). During this
        time implementation of the decision is suspended whilst it is re-
        examined by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee
        (OSMC). Overview and Scrutiny Members cannot change the decision
        but they can request the Executive (or in certain cases full Council)
        reconsider the decision in light of the concerns expressed.

        A Call-In meeting can be triggered by:

        i)       A meeting of the Call-In Group (The Chair, Vice Chair of the
                 OSMC and the Chairs of the Overview and Scrutiny Standing
                 Panels, or their substitutes) resolving that the OSMC should
                 meet within 10 working days, or as soon as is practically
                 possible, to consider a decision taken but not yet implemented;
                 or

        ii)      By the completion of the necessary form signed by at least five
                 Overview and Scrutiny Members, not all from the same political
                 group and submitted within the correct timescale to the Group
                 Director Corporate Governance/Governance Services Manager
                 or their Deputy.

                 In both cases a number of procedures need to be followed to
                 demonstrate that Call-In is being used effectively.

                 Call-In is ultimately about improving decision making, it should
                 not be used as a means of obstructing or slowing down the
                 decision making process.




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2.      Background

        The Constitution states that Call-In is an exceptional step to be taken
        only when Members with the power to Call-In decisions consider it to
        be a proportionate step, which will be of benefit to the delivery of
        services under the Budget and Policy Framework or will improve the
        decision-making process.

        i)       Exceptional Step

                 Call-In should not be used routinely or as a means of gaining
                 information or discussing general concerns with officers and
                 Members.     Before triggering the calling in of a decision
                 therefore, Members will need to demonstrate that they:

                 1.       Have discussed their concerns with the relevant
                          officer(s)/decision taker.
                 2.       Contacted the Chair of the relevant Overview and
                          Scrutiny Panel to discuss their concerns and gain their
                          views.

        ii)      A Proportionate Step

                 In determining whether or not to trigger Call-In, Members will
                 need to consider whether delaying and reviewing the decision
                 through Call-In is appropriate.

                 In identifying the reasons for Call-In, Members will need to
                 clearly identify where they believe there are any defects in the
                 decision-making process and/or where adverse effects are likely
                 to arise from the specific decision being implemented.

        iii)     Identifying Grounds for Call-In

                 The following provides guidance to Overview and Scrutiny
                 Members on areas within the decision making process where
                 there may be defects or grounds for calling in a decision. These
                 areas are included on the Call-In Form to assist Members in
                 clearly identifying reasons for Call-In.

                 1.       Consultation – Has there been a defect within the
                          consultation process e.g. have the views of all relevant
                          parties and stakeholders been taken into account?

                 2.       Alternative Options – have alternative options been
                          given sufficient consideration by the decision maker?

                 3.       Risks and Assumptions – has the decision taken
                          account of all significant risks associated with the taking
                          of this decision?



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                 4.       Legal and Financial Implications – has the decision
                          taker given full consideration to the Legal and Financial
                          Implications associated with this decision?

                 5.       Equalities, Diversity and Human Rights Issues – have
                          these issues been taken into account and given full
                          consideration?

                 6.       Aims and Objectives – are the aims and objectives of
                          the decision clearly identified?

                 7.       Other Relevant Issues – are there other significant
                          relevant issues, which have not been taken into account
                          or give cause for concern?

                 8.       Budget and Policy Framework – is there evidence to
                          suggest this decision is outside the budget and policy
                          framework? (In this instance advice would need to be
                          sought from the Council‟s Monitoring Officer and or
                          Section 151 Officer, (Chief Finance Officer)).

                 9.       Negative Impacts – are there any specific negative
                          impacts likely to arise from taking this decision, which
                          would outweigh the benefits?

        iv)      Suggesting an Outcome

                 Members are also asked to identify what action they believe the
                 OSMC should take to address the defects relating to this
                 decision. The four alternatives are:-

                 1.       Defer the decision back to the Executive for
                          reconsideration. (The Committee need to clearly state
                          the reasons for doing this.)

                 2.       Request that the decision be deferred until the OSMC or
                          the Panel has considered the relevant issues and made
                          recommendations to the Executive.
                          (The Committee need to clearly identify the relevant
                          issues that need to be given further consideration.)

                 3.       Take no action in relation to the Call-In decision but
                          consider whether issues arising from the Call-In need to
                          be added to the Work Programme of any existing or new
                          Overview and Scrutiny Standing Panel/OSMC.
                          (The Committee need to clearly identify the issues to be
                          added to the Work Programme.)




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                 4.       If, but only if (having taking the advice of the Monitoring
                          Officer and/or the Chief Finance Officer), the Committee
                          determines that the decision is wholly or partly outside
                          the Budget and Policy Framework refer the matter, with
                          any recommendations, to the Council after following the
                          procedure in Rule 8 of the Budget and Policy Framework
                          Procedure Rules. Only in this case is there a continuing
                          bar on implementing the decision.

3.      Triggering the Call-In Process

        There are 2 ways in which the Call-In process can be triggered

        i)       A decision by the Call-In Group; or
        ii)      Completion of the relevant Form by five Members not all from
                 the same political group.

        These are explained below in more detail.

        i)       The Call-In Group Method

                 An Overview and Scrutiny Member may make representations
                 to a member of the Call-In Group to consider the decision. The
                 Call-In Group, comprising the Chair and Vice Chair of the
                 OSMC and Chairs of the Overview and Scrutiny Standing
                 Panels, may meet to consider a decision, which is subject to
                 Call-In, but has not yet been implemented.

                 The Call-In Group may meet in public or private to consider the
                 decision (depending on the time available) and may invite
                 officers, Members or other witnesses to attend where
                 timescales permit.

                 The purpose of the Call-In Group‟s consideration is to identify
                 whether there are sufficient grounds for a decision to be called
                 in.

                 Consideration of a decision by the Call-In Group is beneficial
                 as:-

                 1.       Call-In Group Members (the Chair and Vice Chair of the
                          OSMC and Panel Chairs) may also be members of the
                          OSMC.

                 2.       The Call-In Group will have the opportunity to consider
                          whether the reasons identified for Call-In are justified,
                          and relevant to the decision and will be able to advise the
                          OSMC accordingly.        Establishing whether there are
                          grounds for Call-In will also assist the OSMC in its
                          deliberations.


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                          If three or more Call-In Group Members support the
                          calling in of the decision a meeting of the OSMC will be
                          convened usually within ten working days.

        ii)      The Direct Route

                 A Call-In Form (see Appendix A) completed and signed by five
                 Members not all from the same political group will also trigger a
                 meeting of the OSMC which will be held usually within ten
                 working days from receipt of the form.

                 The form must clearly state why those Members believe there
                 are just grounds for calling in the decision. All five Members
                 must agree to the reasons for Call-In and that they are relevant
                 to the specific decision, to allow this to proceed.

                 As the Call-In meeting will be triggered automatically there will
                 not be an opportunity for the Call-In Group to consider the
                 relevance or the grounds under which the decision is being
                 called in.

4.      Consideration of a Called-In decision by OSMC

        Once the Call-In process has been triggered a meeting of the OSMC
        will take place.

        The meeting will usually be conducted as follows:

        1.       The Chair will outline the format of the meeting.

        2.       An officer from the Scrutiny Team will give the background to
                 the called in decision.

        3.       Those Members triggering the Call-In will be given an
                 opportunity to present their reasons for Call-In which are stated
                 on the form (usually a maximum of 10 minutes), or

                 On behalf of the Call-In Group a representative may present the
                 reasons for Call-In.

                 In both instances the reasons should relate specifically to the
                 reasons stated on the Call-In Form.

        4.       The Executive Members or officers will be given an opportunity
                 to respond (usually 10 minutes).

        5.       To progress the consideration of the issue the OSMC may wish
                 to consider the evidence heard and determine:

                 i)       are the reasons identified for Call-In relevant to the
                          decision?
                 ii)      are the reason(s) stated for Call-In justified?

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                 iii)     have Members demonstrated they have sought to
                          discuss their concerns with the Executive, relevant officer
                          and Chair of the OSMC or the relevant Overview and
                          Scrutiny Panel before triggering call-in?

        6.       OSMC Members will be given the opportunity to question the
                 Executive Members and Members who triggered the Call-In and
                 both parties will be given the opportunity to respond.

        7.       OSMC will ask the Call-In Members or if appropriate
                 representatives from the Call-In Group to provide a brief closure
                 statement.

        8.       The Executive Member(s) will be given an opportunity to provide
                 a final response.

        9.       OSMC will consider which recommendation it wishes to propose
                 having taken account of all relevant factors. The options are
                 detailed at Section 2 (iv) of this protocol.

        10.      Following the OSMC meeting the Executive, Overview and
                 Scrutiny Management Committee, Corporate Management
                 Team and other relevant officers will be notified of the outcome.

5.      Additional Information

        i)       Exempt/Confidential Information

                 Triggering a Call-In meeting will not give those Members who
                 have called in a decision an automatic right to access reports
                 and other information, which is deemed exempt or confidential,
                 which they would not normally have received. Rules regarding
                 Access to Information still apply.

        ii)      Call-In Form Signed by a Member of the OSMC

                 A Member of the OSMC may sign the Call-In Form under the
                 direct route and take a full and active role in the debate and
                 discussion. The OSMC Member may however access exempt
                 or confidential information, which the other Members calling in
                 the decision may not receive.

        iii)     Invitee and Co-Opted Members

                 Invitees who are not Councillors and Co-opted Members cannot
                 use the direct route to call a decision in. They may however
                 contact the Chair of the OSMC or Vice Chair, or (in his/her
                 absence) Chair of the relevant Panel and request the Call-In
                 Group consider a decision.




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        iv)      Decisions Previously Called-In

                 OSMC cannot consider a decision, which has previously been
                 subject to Call-In through either of the Call-In routes.

        v)       Decisions Previously Considered by the OSMC or an Overview
                 and Scrutiny Panel

                 If a decision has previously been considered by the OSMC or
                 one of the Standing Overview and Scrutiny Panels prior to its
                 implementation and this has resulted in recommendations being
                 made to the Executive, Members triggering the Call-In may
                 need to identify:

                     Why having already been considered by Overview and
                      Scrutiny, this issue needs to be reconsidered.

                     Are there any issues that were not taken account of during
                      Overview and Scrutiny‟s initial consideration?

                     Are there any changes or revisions that have taken place
                      since Overview and Scrutiny‟s initial consideration?

        vi)      Reviewing Call-In

                 Any decisions that have been called in will be reported for
                 information to the next ordinary meeting of the OSMC. This
                 provides an opportunity for the Committee to identify any
                 learning points or areas where improvements to the process can
                 be identified.

6.      Conclusion

        Call-In provides the opportunity for Overview and Scrutiny Members to
        hold decision makers to account. This protocol seeks to advise and
        guide both Overview and Scrutiny Members and the OSMC in
        considering and determining a called in decision.

7.      Contact Details

        If you require any further information or advice in respect of the Call-In
        process please do not hesitate to contact a Member of the Overview
        and Scrutiny Team Tel. 734354/735682/734941/734045.




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                                                                            APPENDIX A “CALL IN 1 FORM”

                              OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY CALL-IN FORM
                                         (DIRECT ROUTE)
                               Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules
                                              Rule 9

(To be completed by at least 5 Members, who should not all be from the same political
party)

Members are requested to refer to the Overview and Scrutiny Call-In Protocol to assist with
the completion of this form.

 1.        DECISION

 Title:


 Tracking Reference No.:                                          Date taken:


 Implementation Date:                                             Decision Maker:


 Implementer:                                                     Relevant O&S Body:



 2.        REASONS FOR CALL-IN
           Please identify overleaf what you believe to be the defects relating to this decision
           or any adverse consequences likely to arise from the implementation of this
           decision. The list below may help you to clearly identify the areas where you
           believe there are defects in the decision making process:

           i)       Consultation
           ii)      Consideration of alternative options
           iii)     Consideration of risks and assumptions
           iv)      Consideration of legal and financial implications
           v)       Consideration of equalities, diversity and human rights issues
           vii)     Aims and objectives of the decision are unclear/will not bring about
                    proposed outcome.
           viii)    Other relevant issues
           ix)      Do you believe this decision is outside the budget and policy framework
                    (advice will need to be south from the Council‟s Monitoring Officer and Chief
                    Finance Officer Section 151 Officer).
           x)       What do you believe are the specific negative impacts likely to arise from
                    taking this decision.




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I believe this decision should be „called-in‟ for the following reason(s):




SUGGESTING AN OUTCOME What action do you believe OSMC should take in respect
of the called-in decision. (The potential outcomes are detailed at section 7 of this form).




3i)  CALL-IN SUPPORTED BY THE FOLLOWING (this should include at least 5
     Members who must not all be from the same political group – letters/emails of
     support may be attached to this form).
Name                       Political Group    Signature




3ii)    Please indicate where necessary the main contact name from those Members
        detailed above: -

Name _____________________________________ Tel. No.

                                                                         Mobile:




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4.    Have you contacted the relevant officer/decision maker regarding your
      concerns over this decision?

      Yes                             No


(*please tick as appropriate)
(If No please state reasons why)




5.    Have you contacted the Chair of the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Panel
      regarding your concerns over this decision?

      Yes                             No

(*please tick as appropriate)
(If No please state reasons why)




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To be completed by the Scrutiny Team

6.     CALL-IN PROGRESS
Strategic Director – Policy, Partnerships                 Date:
and Governance notified
Implementer Notified                                      Date:

Decision Maker Notified                                   Date:

OSMC Summonsed                                            Date:

OSMC Meeting                                              Date:


7.    OSMC DECISION
1     Refer the decision back to the Executive for
      reconsideration in the light of the recommendations
      from the Committee.
2     Request that the decision be deferred until
      Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee or
      Overview and Scrutiny Panel have considered
      relevant issues and made recommendations to the
      Executive.
3     Take no decision in relation to the called-in
      decision but consider whether issues arising from
      the call-in need to be added to the work
      programme of an existing or new Overview and
      Scrutiny Panel.
4     If, but only if (having taken the advice of the
      Monitoring Officer and/or the Chief Finance
      Officer), the Committee determines that the
      decision is wholly or partly outside the Budget and
      Policy Framework refer the matter, with any
      recommendations, to the Council after following
      the procedure in Rule 8 of the Budget and Policy
      Framework Procedure Rules. Only in this case is
      there a continuing bar on implementing the
      decision.

8.   ACTION
Managing Director notified                              Date:

Implementer notified                                    Date:

Decision Maker notified                                 Date:

Outcome of Decision                                     Date:




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