Independence of Audit and/or Scrutiny Committee Chairs

Research for Action made this Freedom of Information request to North Lanarkshire Council as part of a batch sent to 26 authorities Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was partially successful.

Research for Action

Dear North Lanarkshire Council,

The independence of scrutiny committees and audit committees has been identified in a number of Public Interest Reports as being an important factor in facilitating meaningful scrutiny and challenge within local authorities.

If your local authority doesn’t not have an overview and scrutiny system please answer the following in relation to the committee within your councils which has audit responsibilities.

If your local authority has an overview and scrutiny system please note that as audit committees are not formally treated as part of scrutiny it may be that they are treated differently in the council’s constitution and policies.

Please confirm whether you are responding to this request in relation to scrutiny committees and/or audit committees.

If your local authority has an overview and scrutiny committee system, please confirm how many committees (excluding audit) are part of that system?

Policy on Selection & Appointment of Committee Chairs: Please provide the council’s current policy on selection and appointment of scrutiny committee chairs and audit committee chairs. Please either copy and paste the section of council policy relating to the selection of scrutiny and audit committee chairs or provide a link and details of the section/sub-section within the document where we can locate this information.

Current Political Configuration of Committee Chairs/Conveners: Please provide a figure showing what percentage of current scrutiny and audit committee chairs (or conveners) are members of an opposition party to the main controlling party or controlling coalition.

Yours faithfully,

Megan Waugh

Research for Action

Angelene Kirkpatrick, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir/madam

I acknowledge receipt of your request which is receiving attention.

I shall contact you again when I am in a position to respond more fully to your request.

Yours sincerely

Angelene Kirkpatrick
For Freedom of Information Co-ordinator
North Lanarkshire Council
Civic Centre
Windmillhill Street
Motherwell
ML1 1AB

Working from home
Please contact via email

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Angelene Kirkpatrick, North Lanarkshire Council

Dear Sir/Madam

Request for Information

 

I refer again to your e-mail dated 12 December 2023 seeking information
under the Freedom of Information legislation.

 

Having investigated, I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council operates
a Committee structure and the only audit and/or Scrutiny Committee is
called the Audit and Scrutiny Panel.

 

The appointment of Chairs to any Committee, including the Audit and
Scrutiny Panel, is a matter solely for the Council to make and is
determined by the will of the Council.  Accordingly, there is no specific
policy in place and in terms of Section 17 of the Freedom of Information
(Scotland) Act 2002, I must advise you that no policy is held.

 

The Audit and Scrutiny Panel is currently chaired by a member of a
political group which is not part of the administration.

 

I can advise that North Lanarkshire Council, having regard to the
provisions of Section 21 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act
2002, has established a procedure whereby any person who has requested
information and is in any way dissatisfied with the decision on that
request, can within forty working days require a review of that decision
by writing to the Chief Officer (Legal and Democratic), Civic Centre,
Windmillhill Street, Motherwell ML1 1AB.  Accordingly, if you are
dissatisfied with this decision and seek such review please write to the
Chief Officer (Legal and Democratic).

 

I would advise, also, that in terms of Section 47 of the Act a person who
is dissatisfied with a notice given by the local authority under Section
21 of the Act - ie. a notice following a review of a decision by a local
authority, or by the failure of a local authority to give such a notice -
may make application to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a
decision as to whether, in any respect specified in that application, the
request for information to which the requirement relates has been dealt
with in accordance with the Act.  Such an application must be made within
six months of the review decision and be in writing or in another form
which, by reason of it having some permanency is capable of being used for
subsequent reference. The application must state the name of the applicant
and provide an address for correspondence. The application must also
specify the request for information to which the requirement for review
relates, the matter which gave rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction
with the original decision of the local authority and the matter which
gives rise to the applicant’s dissatisfaction with the decision on review
by the local authority or the failure of the local authority to issue such
a decision.  The Scottish Information Commissioner can be contacted as
follows:-

 

Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St. Andrews

KY16 9DS

email: [1][email address]

 

Appeals to the Scottish Information Commissioner can also be made online
via the following link: -

 

[2]www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal

 

I hope this information is sufficient for your purpose.  If, however, you
require further information – or I can assist in any other way – please
let me know.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

Jacqueline Keachie

For Freedom of Information Co-ordinator

North Lanarkshire Council

Contact by email

 

 

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