A petition may ask for a senior Council Officer to give evidence at a public meeting about something which the officer is responsible for as part of their job.
If the petition contains at least 500 signatures the relevant senior officer, identified either by name or by post title, will be required to answer questions on the conduct of that particular matter at a public meeting of the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The Council has determined that such petitions must relate to a senior officer of th Council namely, either the Chief Executive, a Director, or Head of Service.
Please note, where the petition raises issues of competence or misconduct, the petition will be referred to the Chief Executive (or to the Head of Corporate Development if it is in respect of the Chief Executive) and will be considered under the Council's Human Resources Policy.
When a Petition to Hold an Officer to Account is submitted the following steps are taken:
* An acknowledgement will be sent to the Lead Petitioner within 10 working days of receiving the petition. This will let them know what the Council plans to do with the petition and when they can expect to hear from the Council again.
* Petitions to hold an officer to account will be reported to the next convenient meeting of the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
* In advance of the Committee meeting, the Lead Petitioner will be invited to submit a list of questions, which he/she would like to put to the officer at the meeting. These questions will be provided to the Chairman of the Committee, who will decide whether they are appropiate, and to the officer concerned, in advance of the meeting.
* At the meeting, the Chairman will invite the Lead Petitioner to address the Committee for a maximum of three minutes on the issue. The relevant officer will then be required to report to the Committee in relation to the conduct of the subject matter of the petition. Members of the Committee may ques