How a Scrutiny inquiry is carried out

Conducting Reviews

The Audit and Governance Committee is responsible for conducting reviews that fall under the remit of its statutory responsibilities (Health and Crime and Disorder).

Scoping the work - At the start of an investigation a scoping report is produced which outlines the terms of reference for the inquiry, the project plan, timescales and the methods of investigation. The prepared scoping report is considered and amended and / or agreed by the Audit and Governance Committee.

Gathering and considering evidence - The Audit and Governance Committee will invite witnesses to submit evidence which can either be written in terms of a report / presentation or oral. Members of the Committee may also gather evidence through attendance on site visits, holding public consultation exercises and receiving reports from Chief Council Officers and information from other Local Authorities. The methods used for gathering evidence will vary depending on the inquiry.

Preparing a Draft Final Report - Once the Committee has gathered the necessary evidence and information, a report setting out their findings and any recommendations they wish to make is prepared. If a consensus on conclusions and recommendations cannot be reached, a minority report may also be prepared to be considered alongside the majority report.

Finalising the report - The Draft Final Report will normally be considered by the relevant Chief Officer(s) and the Audit and Governance Committee for comment and to approve the content. Key stakeholders may also be invited to comment on the factual content of the report, although additional evidence is not normally considered. The Final Report is then forwarded to the relevant decision making body; for example Council / Policy Committee or in the case of health and crime and disorder issues the relevant NHS body / provider, responsible body, Health and Wellbeing Board or Safer Hartlepool Partnership.

Publication - Once the Final Report has been approved , it will be published and copies will be sent to relevant people and organisations. The Final Report will also be made available on the Hartlepool Borough Council website on the Annual and Final Reports page and also on the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) website.

Action Plans - The Action Plan details how the Officers will deliver the recommendations culminating from a scrutiny investigation and will be completed by the relevant Department.  The plans, which include details of planned timescales for completion of recommendations, are initially shared with the Audit and Governance Committee and then referred to the relevant decision making body, alongside the scrutiny investigation report.

Monitoring - The Audit and Governance Committee receives six-monthly updates of progress of actions resulting from Scrutiny Investigations relating to Health and Crime and Disorder issues.  Responsibility for the monitoring of recommendations and actions resulting from scrutiny investigations is delegated to appropriate policy committees and partnership bodies (again on a 6 monthly basis).  This monitoring process is managed by the Scrutiny Support Team.