Overview and Scrutiny at Central Bedfordshire Council

Overview and Scrutiny

Overview and Scrutiny is part of the political process introduced in 2000 by the government to modernise the way local authorities conduct their business.

It plays a vital role in the decision-making and policy development processes at the Council and is an innovative development in the democratic process because it gives an independent view.

The role of overview and scrutiny in Central Bedfordshire is to:

  • provide an important mechanism for collaborating on long-term policy options
  • provide a non-Executive led process that takes into account the views of the public, partners and other stakeholders
  • give an opportunity for decision-makers to give account at public committees
  • enable the “voice” of local people and communities to be heard as part of the long-term policy making process

Effectively, the Scrutiny process is like the Council having its own 'watchdog'. It provides a chance to get a second opinion on key decisions made by the Council's Executive.

It can also be used to inform and review any of the Council's plans, policies or strategies or question existing practices of the Council or any other public services causing concern.

Overview and Scrutiny Committees (OSCs) make recommendations and scrutinise the policies, decisions and performance of the Executive. The Executive in turn consults with and responds to the OSC recommendations.