The Monitoring Officer

The Monitoring Officer has a specific duty to ensure that the council, its officers and its elected councillors maintain the highest standards of conduct.

  • Monitoring Officer: Scott Fawcus
  • email:  TheMonitoringOfficer@doncaster.gov.uk
  • tel: (01302) 734640 
  • address: The Monitoring Officer, Doncaster Council, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU

Role of the Monitoring Officer

The council has a duty to designate one of its officers as Monitoring Officer to ensure the lawfulness and fairness of council decision making (under Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989)

The Monitoring Officer has a specific duty to ensure that the council, its officers and its elected councillors maintain the highest standards of conduct.

Main duties:

  1. to report on matters he believes are, or are likely to be, illegal or amount to maladministration
  2. to be responsible for matters relating to the conduct of councillors and officers
  3. to be responsible for the operation of the council’s constitution

In order to ensure separation of roles, the Monitoring Officer may not also fulfil the duties of the Head of Paid Service or the Chief Finance Officer (CFO).

The main duties/functions carried out by the Monitoring Officer as specific responsibilities of the position include:

1. Lawfulness

  • reporting any actual or potential breaches of law or maladministration to council and/or to the Cabinet
  • advising all councillors and officers on who has the authority to take a particular decision
  • advising (in conjunction with the CFO) whether a decision is likely to be considered contrary or not wholly in accordance with the budget and Policy Framework
  • to act as the Proper Officer for the preparation, publication and retention of records of decisions taken by or on behalf of the council and the Executive
  • to have responsibility for responding to complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman
  • the Monitoring Officer is the ‘qualified person’ for the purposes of determining whether disclosure of particular information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 would be likely to prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs

2. Conduct

  • promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by councillors and officers
  • advising councillors on the interpretation of the Code of Conduct
  • establishing and maintaining Registers of Members’ Interests and declarations of gifts and hospitality
  • dealing with allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct for Members, including conducting, or delegating the conduct of, investigations into alleged misconduct; 
  • supporting the Standards Committee

3. Constitution

  • maintaining, reviewing and monitoring the operation of the Council’s Constitution to ensure that its aims and principles are given full effect
  • advising on matters of interpretation of the Constitution’s Rules and Procedures and making a decision if necessary

Councillors and officers

The Monitoring Officer’s ability to discharge these duties and responsibilities will depend on councillors and officers:

a. complying with the law (including any relevant Codes of Conduct)
b. complying with any guidance issued by the Monitoring Officer
c. making lawful and proportionate decisions
d. complying with the council’s Constitution, including Procedure Rules 
e. generally, not taking action that would bring the council, their offices or professions into disrepute 
f. communicating effectively with the Monitoring Officer and seeking advice on any issues relating to constitutional or ethical matters

Last updated: 07 February 2017 15:28:51