The Monitoring Officer is a statutory appointment under Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
The Monitoring Officer serves as the guardian of the Council's Constitution and the decision-making process.
The Monitoring Officer is responsible for advising the council on the legality of its decisions and providing guidance to councillors and officers on the Council's Constitution and its powers.
The Monitoring Officer has a responsibility to report breaches and possible breaches of the law or maladministration to the Council.
The Monitoring Officer also works closely with the Council's Managing Director to assist in the role of promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct and probity within the Council.
The current responsibilities of the Monitoring Officer role rest with the Head of Law and Governance who undertakes to discharge their statutory responsibilities with a positive determination and in a manner that enhances the overall reputation of the council. In doing so he will also safeguard, so far as is possible, Members and Officers while acting in their official capacities, from legal difficulties and/or criminal sanctions.
Functions of the Monitoring Officer
- Maintaining the Constitution. The Monitoring Officer will maintain an up-to-date version of the Constitution and will ensure that it is widely available for consultation by Members, staff and the public.
- Ensuring lawfulness and fairness of decision making. After consulting with the Head of Paid Service and Chief Finance Officer, the Monitoring Officer will report to the Council or to Cabinet in relation to an executive function if he or she considers that any proposal, decision or omission would give rise to unlawfulness or if any decision or omission has given rise to maladministration. Such a report will have the effect of stopping the proposal or decision being implemented until the report has been considered.
- Proper Officer for access to information. The Monitoring Officer will ensure that Cabinet decisions, together with the reasons for those decisions and relevant officer reports and background papers are made publicly available as soon as possible.
- Ensuring compliance with Budget and Framework Rules. Advising whether Cabinet decisions are within the budget and policy framework in accordance with the requirement under the Budget and Framework Rules. The Monitoring Officer will advise whether decisions of the Cabinet are in accordance with the budget and policy framework.
- Providing advice. The Monitoring Officer will provide advice on the scope of powers and authority to take decisions, maladministration, financial impropriety, probity and budget and policy framework issues to all councillors and will support and advise councillors and officers in their respective roles.
- Receiving reports. The Monitoring Officer will receive and act on reports made by Ethical Standards Officers (ESOs) and make reports.
- Conducting investigations. The Monitoring Officer will conduct investigations into matters referred by Ethical Standards Officers and make reports or recommendations in respect of them.
- Contributing to corporate management. The Monitoring Officer will contribute to the corporate management of the council, in particular through the provision of professional advice on the lawfulness or probity of any matter.
- Restrictions on posts. The Monitoring Officer cannot be the Chief Finance Officer or the Head of Paid Service.
Royal Borough of Windsor an Maidenhead
St Ives Road
Tel: 01628 796512