Reflections on Scrutiny as the Critical Friend: Processes and Practices City and County of Swansea Council 20  April 2009 ...
Purpose of the Presentation <ul><li>To consider the role of scrutiny as a critical friend  </li></ul><ul><li>To reflect on...
The Principles of Good Scrutiny <ul><li>Centre for Public Scrutiny – four principles of good scrutiny: </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Centre for Public Scrutiny Self-Evaluation Framework – Critical Friend Challenge* <ul><li>5 main questions for Authorities...
WLGA Diagnostic Work <ul><li>Considered: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The structure of scrutiny arrangements </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Work Programming – Issues to Consider <ul><li>The purpose of individual items / the role of the Scrutiny Board – would mor...
Processes, Procedures and the Effectiveness of Scrutiny Board Meetings <ul><li>Issues to Consider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A ...
A Possible Structure for Scrutiny Items <ul><li>Introduction to the item from the Chair / Scrutiny Officer </li></ul><ul><...
Developing Questioning Strategies <ul><li>What is the role of the Board? </li></ul><ul><li>What information does the Board...
Options for generating enhanced challenge capacity <ul><li>Would the following strengthen challenge capacity: </li></ul><u...
A Closing Thought…. <ul><li>“ In my view, it is inconceivable that anyone who really understands what scrutiny is would ev...
Questions…………. <ul><ul><li>??? </li></ul></ul>
Reflections on Scrutiny as the Critical Friend: Processes and Practices Tim Buckle [email_address]
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Scrutiny as a critical friend wlga presentation

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Presentation by the WLGA about how overview & scrutiny can be a critical friend

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Scrutiny as a critical friend wlga presentation

  1. 1. Reflections on Scrutiny as the Critical Friend: Processes and Practices City and County of Swansea Council 20 April 2009 Tim Buckle Performance & Improvement Advisor
  2. 2. Purpose of the Presentation <ul><li>To consider the role of scrutiny as a critical friend </li></ul><ul><li>To reflect on current practices </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Principles of Good Scrutiny <ul><li>Centre for Public Scrutiny – four principles of good scrutiny: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Provides ‘critical friend’ challenge to executive policy-makers and decision-makers” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Enables the voice and concerns of the public and its communities” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Is carried out by ‘independent minded governors’ who lead and own the scrutiny process” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Drives improvement in public services”* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* www.cfps.gov.uk </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Centre for Public Scrutiny Self-Evaluation Framework – Critical Friend Challenge* <ul><li>5 main questions for Authorities to ask themselves: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does scrutiny provide an effective challenge to the executive? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does scrutiny have an impact on the work of the executive? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does scrutiny routinely challenge the authority’s corporate strategy and budget? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are external partners involved in o & s and how are they included? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does scrutiny work effectively with the executive and senior management?* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* www.cfps.org.uk </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. WLGA Diagnostic Work <ul><li>Considered: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The structure of scrutiny arrangements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrangements for Scrutiny Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Options for generating enhanced challenge capacity through scrutiny to support service delivery improvements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Processes, procedures and the effectiveness of scrutiny board meetings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The process for developing scrutiny forward work programmes </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Work Programming – Issues to Consider <ul><li>The purpose of individual items / the role of the Scrutiny Board – would more clarification be helpful for some items? </li></ul><ul><li>The number of agenda items for each Board meeting and how this is determined </li></ul><ul><li>The process for determining which witnesses will be invited to attend Board meetings and the specific information the Boards require from witnesses/other sources </li></ul>
  7. 7. Processes, Procedures and the Effectiveness of Scrutiny Board Meetings <ul><li>Issues to Consider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A more structured approach to considering items at Scrutiny Board Meetings? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A more planned approach to developing questioning strategies? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development sessions for Scrutiny Chairs / Scrutiny Board Members? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. A Possible Structure for Scrutiny Items <ul><li>Introduction to the item from the Chair / Scrutiny Officer </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion on the purpose of the item, the key issues the Board will focus on and the key questions the Board would like answered to fulfil its role </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation of report/introduction from the ‘witness’ (e.g. Officer, Executive Member or External witness) </li></ul><ul><li>Question and answer session </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Witness’ retires from the meeting table whilst Board discusses the evidence they have heard and agrees a way forward </li></ul>
  9. 9. Developing Questioning Strategies <ul><li>What is the role of the Board? </li></ul><ul><li>What information does the Board need to fulfil this role? </li></ul><ul><li>Who would the Board like to hear from in order to gather the information? </li></ul><ul><li>Which questions do you need to ask to get this information? </li></ul><ul><li>How will the Board approach the ‘interview’? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Options for generating enhanced challenge capacity <ul><li>Would the following strengthen challenge capacity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater involvement of external witnesses in the scrutiny process (improve evidence base and range of perspective upon which to base conclusions / recommendations)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing resources, knowledge and expertise with neighbouring authorities to work on joint scrutiny exercises? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater involvement of co-opted members? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undertaking regular reviews of the operation of the scrutiny process? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. A Closing Thought…. <ul><li>“ In my view, it is inconceivable that anyone who really understands what scrutiny is would ever ‘note’ a paper. That is strong evidence, where it occurs, that they have not got it quite right and they have not understood it.”* </li></ul><ul><li>Jeremy Colman, Auditor General for Wales </li></ul><ul><li>* The Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee, National Assembly for Wales, Transcript of Meeting, Wednesday, 19 November, 2008 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Questions…………. <ul><ul><li>??? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Reflections on Scrutiny as the Critical Friend: Processes and Practices Tim Buckle [email_address]

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