Access Keys:

Skip main menu

Constitution - Part 3 - Delegation to Officers

 

 

1.1 This part of the Constitution sets out the functions of the Council that are delegated to the Chief Executive ('Head of Paid Service'), Corporate Directors and specified senior Officers of the County Council. "Functions" includes all the powers and duties of the Council, including taking decisions about those functions.
2.1 Non-executive functions of the Council may be delegated to officers by the Council, Committees and Sub-Committees under Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972.

2.2 Executive functions of the Council may be delegated to officers by the Leader of the Council ("the Leader"), Cabinet and Local Committees under the Local Government Act 2000.
3.1 This Scheme of Delegation is set out as far as possible in terms of broad areas of responsibility rather than in specific statutory terms.

3.2 All functions not reserved to the full Council, Cabinet or a Committee are delegated to the appropriate Corporate Director and the Chief Executive.  The exercise of delegated authority is limited by the Conditions and Limitations set out in [section 4 below] and where specified in other sections of this Scheme of Delegation.

3.3 Where a decision is delegated under the Constitution or by a decision making body to an officer in consultation with a member, the law requires that the discretion of the officer is not fettered.  This means that decision must be taken by the officer who has been authorised to take the decision and may not be joint decision, or a decision of the member in consultation with the officer. 

3.4 Where a function of the Council has been delegated to an officer by the Council, Cabinet, a Committee or sub-committee or by the Leader, the person or body making the delegation may at any time take back responsibility for the function, either in respect of a particular matter, or the function or generally.

3.5 The rule in Paragraph 3.4 includes the entitlement of the Leader of the Council to decide that a Key Decision included on the Forward Plan (Paragraph 13-17) as a Corporate Director Key Decision should be taken by Cabinet.

3.6 An officer to whom a function is delegated may refer the matter to the person or body making the delegation, for them to determine, notwithstanding the delegation. 

4.1 In carrying out delegated functions, Officers must comply with the law and with the Council's Constitution (in this order of priority).  No officer may commit the Council to a course of action that will result in a financial obligation beyond the approved budget of the Council.

Referral of Executive Decisions to Cabinet

Corporate Directors must consider prior to taking a Key Decision whether to refer the decision to the Cabinet.  Relevant factors include if the decision is likely to:

(a) Have a significant impact on the reputation of the Council
(b) Raise significant issues of policy, which it would be appropriate for Cabinet to determine
(c) Expose the Council to an ongoing financial commitment or major corporate risk that could not be contained within the Directorate budget.

Officers authorised by the Chief Executive or a Corporate Director to exercise functions

4.2 Any power conferred on the Chief Executive or a Corporate Director may be exercised by an officer authorised by him/her, generally or for a specific purpose, orally or in writing, except where the Constitution or the law specifies that the officer to whom the function has been delegated must act in person

4.3 Any power conferred in the Constitution on an officer other than the Chief Executive or a Corporate Director may be exercised by an officer authorised by him/her, generally or for a specific purpose, orally or in writing, except where the Constitution or the law specifies that the officer on whom the power has been conferred must act in person.

4.4 Corporate Directors must personally take Key Decisions delegated to them.


"Proper Officers"

4.5 Where an officer who has been appointed as a statutory officer or as a proper officer under any legislation they must exercise those functions, personally, subject to any provision in the legislation for the appointment of one or more deputies.

Professional Advice

4.6 In exercising delegated authority, officers must consult with such other officers and advisers as they consider appropriate, including the Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer, and officers must have regard to any advice given.

5.1 The Chief Executive and Corporate Directors are authorised to:

(a) Take all lawful action consistent with Council policy to deliver approved strategies, policy and plans within their area of responsibility, and within approved budgets and service plans.  This includes, (but not exhaustively):

(i) To incur expenditure on the Council's behalf within the sums contained in the approved budget including, acting in accordance with the Contract Procedure Rules, to procure and award contracts for supplies, services and works.

(ii) To dispose of non-property surplus or damaged or scrap assets in accordance with the Financial Standing Orders.

(iii) Put in place management and staffing arrangements, including for the appointment and dismissal of staff, in their area of responsibility and carry out all functions relating to the operational management of staff, consistent with Council human resources policies, strategies and plans and legal obligations.

(iv) To approve budget transfers acting in accordance with the Financial Standing Orders.

(v) To arrange insurances, other than those insurances reserved to the Assistant Director - Finance acting in accordance with the Financial Standing Orders.

(vi) Hear and Determine any disciplinary or grievance matter referred to them under the Council's policies and procedures.

(vii) Enter into settlement agreements with staff, following approval from the Senior Manager Legal and Democratic Services.

(viii) Authorise the payment of honoraria to members of staff temporarily undertaking higher graded duties within limits set by the Corporate Director - Resources and Transformation. The limit from January 2015 is set at £ 2,000.

(ix) Submit bids to deliver contracts for third parties within their area of responsibility and approve the Council entering into any lawful contract to deliver such services or works.

(x) To enter into Partnership Agreements which support the achievement of the Council's objectives

(xi) Submit applications for external funding and enter into funding agreements, acting in accordance with the Financial Standing Orders.

(xii) To write off debts, acting in accordance with the Financial Standing Orders.
 
(xiii) Authorise staff to exercise such powers as may be appropriate to carry out their duties, including powers of enforcement, entry, inspection and survey of land, buildings or other premises, service of statutory notices to ascertain interests in land.

(xiv) To authorise, following consultation with the Senior Manager Legal and Democratic Services the institution, or defence, settlement of, or involvement in, criminal or civil proceedings in relation to any Act, Statutory Instrument, contractual or regulatory provision which they are responsible for monitoring, enforcing or otherwise implementing on behalf of the Council.

(xv) Authorise service or placing of any statutory notice (except where the decision is reserved to the Council, Cabinet or a Committee).

(xvi) Seek permission for development by the County Council in respect of its functions.

(xvii) Award payments arising from Local Government Ombudsman recommendations up to £ 5,000.

(xviii) Otherwise settle or determine corporate complaints.

(xix) Award payments arising from complaints under the Council's Corporate Complaints Procedure, up to £ 2,000, following consultation with the Assistant Director - Corporate Governance.

5.2 When deputising on behalf of the Chief Executive, Corporate Directors are authorised to exercise any function delegated to the Chief Executive.

5.3 A Corporate Director may exercise the functions of an officer in their line of management, except where the law prohibits a Corporate Director from exercising the functions of a specific statutory or proper officer.

Chief Executive

6.1 The Chief Executive has delegated authority to:

(a) Manage and co-ordinate the Council's budget process and strategic planning functions.

(b) Act as Council's Head of Paid Service under section 4 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

(c) Act as "Proper Officer" for certain specific functions set out in the Representation of the People Act 1983 and the Local Government Act 1972 including for the purposes of section 83(1) - (4).

(d) Act as the County Controller in the event of a major county-wide emergency.

(e)  Act as proper officer for the purposes of sections 15 - 17 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the Local Government (Committee Places and Political Groups) Regulations 1990.

(f)   Authorise action to ensure that the County Council's functions under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and other emergency planning legislation are carried out.

(g) Take any action and incur expenditure and delegate responsibility to take action and incur expenditure in the event of a civil emergency.

(h) Where delay in taking a decision would seriously prejudice the Council's or  the public interest to the extent that it is appropriate to exercise emergency powers, take any decision on behalf of the Council in consultation with the Leader, or if he/she is unavailable, the Deputy Leader.

(i) Sign each certificate given under the Local Government Contracts Act 1997.  NB: The Section 151 Officer and Corporate Director - Resources and Transformation also have this authority.  Each of these officers is indemnified against any liability, claims or costs arising out the signature of any such certificate.

(j) Exercise responsibility for co-ordinating the discharge of the Council's functions between various Officers. 

(k) Allocate or re-allocate responsibility for functions in this Scheme of Delegation as necessary for the effective discharge of those functions, provided that any allocation of responsibility for more than 6 months is reported to the Council as a change to the Scheme of Delegation.

(l) Determine disciplinary matters, grievances or other staffing matters relating to Corporate Directors unless otherwise prescribed by this Constitution.

(m) Determine appeals against decisions of Corporate Directors in accordance with Council procedures.

(n) Approve interim contracts for staff and proposals for consultant's services in respect of these posts, acting in accordance with the Financial Standing Orders.

6.2 The Chief Executive has authority to exercise any function exercisable by a Corporate Director but is not authorised to exercise the functions of the Section 151 Officer or the Monitoring Officer.

6.3 For the avoidance of doubt, anything which is not covered by this Scheme of Delegation or another Part of the Constitution, including the appointment of a "Proper Officer" for the purpose of any statutory function may be determined by the Chief Executive provided that any allocation of responsibility for more than 6 months is reported to the Council as a change to the Scheme of Delegation.

Chief Fire Officer

6.4 The Chief Fire Officer has delegated authority to:

(a) Exercise the functions of the Fire and Rescue Authority in respect of operational matters relating to:

(I) The Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004.

(ii) The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

(iii) The Civil Contingencies Act 2004.

(iv) Any other legislation made before or after these Acts, and any Regulations, which create duties or powers for Fire and Rescue Authorities, including the Fire and Rescue National Framework.

(b) In respect of officers employed under the NJC Scheme of Conditions of Service for Local Authority Fire and Rescue Services and the NJC Scheme of Conditions for Brigade Mangers of Fire and Rescue Services to:

(I) Put in place management and staffing arrangements including for the appointment and dismissal of staff and carry out all functions relating to the operational management of staff, consistent with those terms and conditions and Council human resources policies, strategies and plans and all legal obligations.

(ii) Hear and determine any disciplinary or grievance matter referred to him/her under the Council's policies and procedures or the relevant NJC Scheme.

(iii) Enter into settlement agreements with staff, following approval from the Senior Manager Legal and Democratic Services.

(iv) Authorise the payment of honoraria to members of staff temporarily undertaking higher graded duties within limits set by the Corporate Director - Resources and Transformation. The limit from January 2015 is set at £ 2,000.

(c) Exercise the functions of the Council as the Scheme Manager for all scheme member matters for the Fire Fighters Pension Scheme in consultation with the Assistant Director - Finance and the Senior Manager - Business Services.

Corporate Director - Resources and Transformation

6.5 The Corporate Director - Resources and Transformation has delegated authority to exercise the Council's functions in relation to:

(a) human resources (including responsibility for the maintenance of an effective employee relations and industrial relations framework across the Council); and

(b) commissioning, procurement and contract management; and

(c) information technology infrastructure and services; and

(d) the Council's corporate governance.

6.6 The Corporate Director - Resources and Transformation has delegated authority to:

(a) grant honorariums in excess of £ 2,000;

(b) sign, for the purposes of the Local Government and Contracts Act 1997, each certificate given under the Act;
 
(c) determine any individual or collective staffing matter in consultation with the relevant Corporate Director, where the function is not reserved elsewhere in the Constitution;

(d) approve expenditure up to £ 1,000 on urgent welfare matters where such assistance is likely to assist the return of an employee to work or relieve substantial hardship and no alternative source of such assistance is reasonably available.

(e) act as County Returning Officer under the Representation of the People Act 1983 for County Council elections.

(f)  act as deputy to the Chief Executive in the role of proper officer for the purposes of section 83(1) - (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, sections 15 - 17 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the Local Government (Committee Places and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 in the absence of incapacity if the Chief Executive or a vacancy of the post.

Assistant Director - Finance

6.7 The Assistant Director - Finance is the County Council's Chief Financial Officer under Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 (Section 151 Officer) and is the Officer responsible for the proper administration of the Council's financial affairs.

6.8 The functions, including the delegated authority of the Assistant Director - Finance are set out in Part 5G of this Constitution, the Financial Standing Order.

6.9 In addition to these functions, the Assistant Director has authority in respect of the Cumbria Local Government Pension Fund for the following to:

(a) Pay pensions, gratuities, grants, etc. to members, other beneficiaries, and creditors of the Pension Fund, in accordance with the Superannuation and Pensions Acts and Regulations and the agreed policy of the Council thereunder

(b) In consultation with members of the Investment Sub-Group appoint investment managers to the Cumbria Local Government Pensions Scheme ('LGPS')

(c) Approve the procurement and award of contracts incidental to the discharge by the Pensions Committee of functions on behalf of the Local Government Pensions Scheme, including decisions relating to the management, modification and termination of such contracts.  NB Decisions taken in accordance with this paragraph are incidental to the non-executive functions of the Pensions Committee and are not Key Decisions of the Council.

6.10 The Assistant Director - Finance has the authority to sign, for the purposes of the Local Government Contracts Act 1997, each certificate given under the Act.

Assistant Director - Corporate Governance

6.11 The Assistant Director - Corporate Governance is the Council's statutory Monitoring Officer under sections 5 and 5A of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

6.12 The Assistant Director - Corporate Governance is the "Proper Officer" for the receipt of notices under the Local Authorities (Members' Interests) Regulations 1992, and Regulations made under Section 81 of the Local Government Act 2000.

6.13 The Assistant Director - Corporate Governance has delegated authority to grant dispensations to members or co-opted member to allow them, where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) in a matter to be considered at a meeting, to

(a) participate in any discussion of the matter at the meeting;

or

(b) participate in any vote, or further vote, taken on the matter at the meeting;
on the following grounds:

(i) That so many members of the decision-making body have DPIs that it would impede the transaction of business.

(ii) That, without the dispensation, the representation of different political groups on the body transacting the business would be so upset as to alter the likely outcome of the vote.

(iii) That without a dispensation, no member of Cabinet would be able to participate in a matter before Cabinet.

(All other requests for dispensations must be agreed by the Standards Committee).

6.14 In consultation with the Constitution Review Group, the Assistant Director - Corporate Governance has delegated authority to make minor amendments to update the Council's Constitution including to take account of legislative changes provided that it does not involve material changes to principles previously approved by full Council.

6.15 The Assistant Director - Corporate Governance has delegated authority to exercise the functions of the Senior Information Risk Officer.

6.16 The Assistant Director - Corporate Governance has delegated authority to: 

(a) Take any action to implement any decision taken by or on behalf of the Council including the execution whether under hand or under seal of any document and the service of statutory and other notices

(b) Issue, defend, settle, conduct or participate in any legal proceedings where he/she considers it appropriate to protect, promote or defend the Council's interests.

(c) To settle any disputes that might lead to legal proceedings.

(d) Authorise employees of the Council  prosecute or defend or appear in proceedings under Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1972 and Section 60 of the County Courts Act 1984.

Assistant Director - Business Services

6.17 The Assistant Director - Business Services has the authority under the Contract Procedure Rules to give approval in respect of specific matters, acting in accordance with the Contract Procedure Rules

Officer Appointed as Shareholder's Representative

6.18 The authority of any officer appointed by the Cabinet to act as shareholders representative for a company of which the Council is a shareholder or member is to:

(a) Act as shareholders representative in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 and

(b) Exercise all the County Council's powers as shareholder of the company concerned.

6.19 An officer appointed as deputy shareholder's representative in respect of a company is authorised to exercise these delegated powers in the absence of the shareholder's representative.

Corporate Director - Children and Families Services

6.20 The Corporate Director - Children and Families Services is the County Council's statutory officer under section 18(1) of the Children Act 2004 and has delegated authority in respect of all functions relating to:

(a) The education and training of children and young people, including the functions which relate to the Council's education functions generally and in respect of individual schools;

(b) The safeguarding of vulnerable children;

(c) The care of children looked after by the Council

(d) Transport of children and young people; and

(e) The promotion of the general wellbeing of children and families.

6.21 In addition the Corporate Director - Children and Families Services is authorised to :

(a) Decide in consultation with the relevant Cabinet member whether to undertake a consultation on a school organisation proposal where the Council is the proposer in accordance with the decision of Cabinet dated 28 04 2011 provided that, decisions relating to school organisation proposals must be referred to the Cabinet for determination.

(b) Determine grant applications to the Holehird Trust, for sums of £ 500 or less, which cannot be deferred to the next meeting of the Holehird Trust Joint Committee, such decision to be taken following consultation with all members of the Joint Committee and a list of grants approved under this urgency provision being reported to the Joint Committee's next meeting.

(c) Appoint the Council's nominated trustee to serve on the Edmond Castle Educational Trust, following consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member.

(d) Deal with complaints about the discharge of the Council's Social Services functions in respect of children in accordance with the procedures established by the Council from time to time and the relevant regulations, including the arranging of investigations and the appointment of person to serve as Panel members under those procedures.

(e) In accordance with any relevant legislation, to appoint designated decision makers or nominated officers for functions specified in that legislation.

Corporate Director - Economy and Highways

6.22 The Corporate Director - Economy and Highways has delegated authority to discharge all County Council functions relating to:

(a) Highways, traffic and transport

(b) Countryside access

(c) Vehicles and mechanical plant and equipment

(d) Development control and regulation

(e) Town and country planning

(f)  Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects

(g) Minerals and Waste

(h) Historic environment

(i) Economic development

(j) Civil contingencies and emergencies

(k) Public protection

(l) Libraries and cultural services

(m) Trading Standards

(n) Safety of Sports Grounds

(o) Weights and Measures

(p) Registration of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

(q) The Coroners Service including appointment of Coroners at all levels including Senior, Area and Assistant Coroners)

(r) Being a waste disposal authority

(s) Being a flood authority

(t) Being a traffic management authority

(u) The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 including the specific authority to issue authorisations along with the Assistant Director - Economy and Environment

(v) Land and property

(w) Port of Workington

6.23 The Corporate Director - Economy and Highways is the Duty Holder under the Marine Safety Code from time to time in force for the Port of Workington.

6.24  In addition, the Corporate Director - Economy and Highways has delegated authority to appoint members of the Cumbria Valuation Tribunal, in consultation with the President of the Tribunal and after consultation with Group Leaders and Chairs of Local Committees

6.25 The authority of the Corporate Director - Economy and Highways is limited as set out below.

(a)  The authority of the Corporate Director - Economy and Highways to exercise powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is limited as follows:

(i) In respect of functions relating to the making of speed limit orders as determined through the "Speeding in Villages" initiative, after consultation with the Chair of the relevant local committee and local member(s), to those orders where there are no objections following statutory consultation and advertisement.

(ii) In respect of functions relating to the issue of  notices under Sections 14(2) (a) and (b) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (or any statutory modification thereof), to circumstances where it appears necessary to the Corporate Director that the restrictions/prohibitions come into force without delay.

(iii) the making of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) which involve the introduction of on-street parking charges and those TROs which involve changes to restrictions to accommodate the on-street parking charges.

(iv) the making of TROs which involve the introduction of charging for residents and other parking permits

Where making orders under (iii) or (iv) above the Corporate Director - Economy and Highways must consult with the Chair and Vice Chair of the relevant local committee prior to making the order.

(b) The authority of the Corporate Director - Economy and Highways in respect of planning applications is limited to the following:

(i) Applications for new developments or to amend or remove planning conditions on extant planning permission, within existing minerals and waste sites or with a significant County Council developments, which would not have a significant impact outside of the site boundary;

(ii) Minor development not on existing minerals and waste sites which would not have a significant impact on the locality (for example, kiosks, pipe bridges and other minor wastewater developments, including minor changes to minor developments previously approved by the Development Control and Regulation Committee and shallow boreholes); and

(iii) to determine applications, for approval of reserved matters provided the planning application does not extend the time limit of a planning permission; and/or does not require an Environmental Statement and/or has not been advertised as a departure from development plan policy.

(c) In respect of functions relating to Commons Land to determine only undisputed applications to amend the Registers of Common Land.

Assistant Director - Economy and Environment

6.26 The Assistant Director - Economy and Environment has delegated authority to issue authorisations under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Assistant Director - Capital Programmes and Property

6.27 The Assistant Director - Capital Programmes and Property may authorise virement between projects in the capital programme, acting in accordance with the provisions of the Financial Standing Orders.  
 
Corporate Director - Health Care and Community Services

6.28 The Corporate Director - Health Care and Community Services is the statutory officer for adult social services under Section 6(A1) the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 and has delegated responsibility for all social services functions as specified in Schedule 1 of that Act which relate to adults over the age of 18 (excluding functions relating to aftercare under the Children Act 1989).

6.29 The Corporate Director - Health Care and Community Services has delegated authority to exercise the Council's functions in relation to libraries and cultural services and for the management and functions of Area Managers.

6.30 The Corporate Director - Health Care and Community Services has delegated authority to take any lawful decision that the Corporate Director judges to be appropriate about the services to be provided to an individual or action to be taken in respect of an individual (including the use of any discretion provided for in national or local schemes of charges to service users and assistance with legal costs of a third party) and all powers and duties of the Council under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended from time to time) the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and other legislation relating to health, welfare, capacity or the care of adults.

6.31 The Corporate Director - Health Care and Community Services has delegated authority to act as Deputy in accordance with Directions of the Court of Protection.

6.32 The Corporate Director - Health Care and Community Services has delegated authority to deal with complaints about the discharge of the Council's Social Services functions in respect of adults in accordance with the procedures established by the Council from time to time and the relevant regulations, including the arranging of investigations and the appointment of person to serve as Panel members under those procedures.

6.33 In accordance with any relevant legislation, the Corporate Director - Health Care and Community Services can appoint designated decision makers or nominated officers for functions specified in that legislation.

Director of Public Health

6.34 The Director of Public Health has delegated authority to discharge the Council's public health functions under the NHS Act 2006 and any Regulations made under this Act.