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When a sub-committee is formed do the PC Standing Orders, agenda rules and public notification still apply?

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asked by (1.4k points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
A sub-committee has the same requirements for notices and agendas as full council and standing committees.  Depending on your standing orders and the terms of reference of the standing committee, the terms of reference for the sub-committee could be approved by full council or the 'parent' committee.

Some councils, mine included, have set up 'Task and Finish' or working parties for a particular project and, it is my understanding, that as these are no decision making they don't have to fall under the more formal requirements.  For example, to investigate options for a new playground where you would bring the options back to a committee or full council for decision.
answered by (10.7k points)
These task and finish or working groups can be used as a sneaky way to avoid accountability. They  don't have to take minutes but can make recommendations to a committee who can then resolve to approve the UN-minuted working party recommendations. It is very easy for the  recommendations.  to be stated verbally to a committee and them for the committee to recommend full council acceptance and conveniently forget to put anything in public agenda papers.
They could be, that's true, but judging by the horror stories reported on this website and others, there are millions of ways that councils are not following the law and doing as they please.  For my council it is clear that these groups have no decision making and that a full resolution on the 'findings' is evidenced, discussed and resolved at a committee or full council.

There is a need to be pragmatic.  An example... my pc was given notice to leave their rented offices and urgently needed to find new office space.  It was essential that we acted quickly to source a new office and undertake the work required to move.  So a small group of councillors and myself as the Clerk were involved in investigating office space, detailing IT requirements and dealing with the negotiation of the lease.  Once a formal decision was required, it was added to an agenda item for resolution, with all the evidence provided.  All fully documented and above board.

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