Role of the Monitoring Officer
The Monitoring Officer is a statutory appointment pursuant to section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.
The Monitoring Officer's statutory duty under section 5 can be summarised as being a duty to report to the Council in any case where they are of the opinion that any proposal, decision or omission of the Council, its committees or subcommittees or anyone employed by the Council is, or is likely to be, illegal or to constitute maladministration.
This statutory duty is a personal duty, and the Monitoring Officer cannot delegate it to someone else unless they are ill or away, or otherwise unable to act, in which case the Deputy Monitoring Officer, can take over the role.
If the Monitoring Officer makes such a report to the Council, it will be sent to every councillor and the proposal, decision, or omission referred to in the report is suspended. Council must consider the report and decide, within 21 days on the steps it is taking in response to the report.
The Monitoring Officer also has a range of functions relating to the conduct of councillors. These include the arrangement of local investigations into Member conduct at both District and Parish level, and the provision of advice to District and Parish Councillors on the Members' Code, and the establishment and maintenance of the Register of Members' Interests.
The Monitoring Officer will also report on any findings of maladministration by the Local Government Ombudsman.