Scrutiny Investigations

The purpose of Scrutiny Investigations is to assess the impact of current policies and/or service performance.

This is achieved by gathering essential evidence which includes listening to peoples’ experiences, over a period of around 6 to 9 months.

We use various methods e.g. interviews with individuals or groups, consultation, research into good practice, visits to other Councils etc.  The culmination of every scrutiny investigation is the submission of a report and recommendations based on robust evidence to the Scrutiny Committee in the first instance, and then to the relevant Cabinet Member.

The relevant Cabinet Member will respond to the recommendations and if he/she accepts them, he/she will present updates to the Scrutiny Committee.

There is, by definition, a time restriction on the Scrutiny Investigations, and they only exist for the period of time allocated for the project. Once the project has been completed, they also come to an end.

How does the scrutiny investigation work?

  • A request to hold a scrutiny investigation can be received from either the Council Cabinet, an individual Cabinet member, Members of a Scrutiny Committee or members of the public.
  • The remit of a scrutiny investigation is usually chosen based on the following principles:
    • Is the matter important to the people of Gwynedd
    • Is the matter a priority for elected members
    • Is the matter on the Cabinet’s Work Programme 
    • Is the matter performing poorly
    • Is it the right time to scrutinise the matter
    • Avoidance of duplication between the Cabinet and scrutiny members
  • This can be a policy area or service which:
    • Is wholly the Council’s responsibility (for example, Social Services); 
    • Is shared with another agency or agencies (for example, residential care); or 
    • Is outside the Council’s direct responsibility, but which is of concern to the community and could be of interest to the Council (e.g. Post Offices).
  • If a decision is made to hold an investigation, following agreement on its scope, the scrutiny members will lead the work.  This can mean that the investigation brings forward new messages, that will possibly be contrary to the Cabinet’s direction.
  • The Scrutiny Committee will elect a small number of elected members to sit on the Scrutiny Investigation Group, and will consider co-opting external expertise.
  • Independent officers will provide support to each Scrutiny Investigation.  The officers will advise, undertake research and assist the members of the Investigation Scrutiny Group to prepare a draft report and recommendations for submission to the relevant Scrutiny Committee.
  •  Each Scrutiny Investigation Group will appoint a Chair from their midst.  

Scrutiny investigation reports

Below are the latest Scrutiny investigation reports: