Decision Maker: City Solicitor
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The workload in relation to Monitoring Officer
work remains significant given the role covers not only Leeds City
Council, but also all the Parish and Town Councils within the Leeds
City Council local authority area.
The recent changes to the senior management arrangements of Democratic Services and the nomination of a single Head of Democratic Services has reduced the capacity available to that individual to undertake solely the role of Deputy Monitoring Officer (DMO).
It has therefore become necessary to nominate one additional individual to the role of DMO to increase capacity in order to ensure a consistently high level of service and to increase the resilience of the function.
There are no cost implications and no additional remuneration will be paid as a result of this decision. The role of the DMOs shall be carried out by Heads of Service within Legal and Democratic Services. The current grade of those posts are Dir 60%.
The legal position requires that where two DMOs have been nominated, members and senior officers should have clarity about with whom they should consult in the absence of the Monitoring Officer (MO). There are therefore two options:
• first, designate each DMO responsible in the absence of the MO for different specific functions; or
• second, maintain as much flexibility as possible and simply nominate a ‘lead DMO’ on a rotating basis which can be altered to accommodate leave or other absence. (That would not mean that the DMO who is not the ‘lead’ on a particular day is not a DMO and/or is not undertaking DMO work. It is expected that the DMOs will operate seamlessly with the MO so that the identity of a ‘lead DMO’ on any particular day should have little if any consequence in practice).
Having consulted with the relevant Heads of Service and in order to maximise flexibility and resilience, it is proposed to implement the second option.
Prior to taking this decision, the following people were consulted and all were supportive of the proposal to nominate one additional DMO:
• Cllr James Lewis, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Resources
• Cllr Elizabeth Nash, Chair of Standards and Conduct Committee
• Gordon Tollefson, Independent Person
• Tom Riordan, Chief Executive
• Neil Evans, Director of Resources and Housing
For the reasons set out above, it is proposed that the MO nominate one additional DMO and that this change is implemented by way of an amendment to the sub-delegation scheme of the City Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, to add Nicole Walker, Head of Service (Legal) as DMO, in addition to the Head of Democratic Services.
Wards Affected: Various;
Contact: Catherine Witham, City Solicitor 0113 2474537 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 13/08/2019