Bullying in Hertsmere Borough Council

Yabootoyou made this Freedom of Information request to Hertsmere Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Hertsmere Borough Council,

This request is being made to make the public at large and people in each authority aware of which councils are the worst offenders or the better examples when it comes to bullying in the workplace. All councils have very similar anti-bullying / dignity at work policies, but there seems to be a difference in the level of bullying. This is intended to statistically show those differences.

Please reply to the first two questions first as they are the most important:

a) Please inform me of the cost of dealing with this request.

1) How many official complaints of harassment and bullying at work did you receive between the 1st April 2009 and the 31st December 2015?

2) How many of these complaints were upheld in favour of the
complainant?

Please reply to these questions if the £450 limit is not exceeded or in order of the questions up to the limit should the limit be surpassed somewhere within these questions:

3) How many of those which were not upheld in favour of the
complainant went on to Appeal?

4) How many of those that went to Appeal were found to favour the
complainant?

5) How many complaints went on to an Employment Tribunal?

6) How many of these were found to uphold the complaint?

7) Out of how many of those allegations (the number given to question 1) did the complainant of
bullying claim that the bullies were telling lies?

8) How many staff does your authority have and what is the current population within your authority's area?

Yours faithfully

Mr Lewis

yabootoyou

foi, Hertsmere Borough Council

Dear Mr Lewis

 

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request received
14 June 2016.

Your request has now been considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act and/or Environmental Information Regulations and we are
able to respond as follows:

 

 

Your request/our response:

 

This request is being made to make the public at large and people in each
authority aware of which councils are the worst offenders or the better
examples when it comes to bullying in the workplace.  All councils have
very similar anti-bullying / dignity at work policies, but there seems to
be a difference in the level of bullying.  This is intended to
statistically show those differences.

 

Please reply to the first two questions first as they are the most
important:

 

a) Please inform me of the cost of dealing with this request.  

 

Hertsmere Borough Council estimates the cost of dealing with this request
is £26.11.

 

1) How many official complaints of harassment and bullying at work did you
receive between the 1st April 2009 and the 31st December 2015?   

 

The Council received three official complaints of this nature within the
period specified.

 

2) How many of these complaints were upheld in favour of the complainant? 

 

Two of these complaints were upheld.

 

Please reply to these questions if the £450 limit is not exceeded or in
order of the questions up to the limit should the limit be surpassed
somewhere within these questions:

 

3) How many of those which were not upheld in favour of the complainant
went on to Appeal? 

 

No complaints that were not upheld went to appeal.

 

4) How many of those that went to Appeal were found to favour the
complainant? 

 

Two complaints that went to appeal were found in favour of the
complainant.

 

5) How many complaints went on to an Employment Tribunal? 

 

No complaints went to a tribunal.

 

6) How many of these were found to uphold the complaint? 

 

Not applicable.

 

7) Out of how many of those allegations (the number given to question 1)
did the complainant of bullying claim that the bullies were telling lies? 

 

This happened in one allegation.

 

8) How many staff does your authority have and what is the current
population within your authority's area? 

 

The Council employs 298 staff and the population within the area covered
by the Council is approximately 101,000.

 

 

If you have any queries about the processing of your request then please
do not hesitate to contact me.  Further information explaining the
Council's process for responding to information requests together with a
complaints/appeals procedure is available in our reception or via our
website at:

 

http://www.hertsmere.gov.uk/councildemoc...

 

The Information Commissioner oversees the application of the Freedom of
Information Act.  You may contact the Information Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioners Office

Wycliffe House, Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire    SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545700

Website:  www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Please include the above reference number on all correspondence related to
this request.

 

Thank you for your request.

 

Kind regards

 

Information Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear foi,

Please can you clarify the following - 1 case at first stage was not upheld (Q2) and didn't go to appeal (Q3) yet 2 were found in favour of the complainant at appeal stage - how can you have 2 from no cases?

Yours sincerely,

Mr Lewis

Yabootoyou

foi, Hertsmere Borough Council

Dear Mr Lewis

Please accept our apologies for any confusion; in fact the answers should have been as follows:

3) How many of those which were not upheld in favour of the complainant went on to Appeal?

One

4) How many of those that went to Appeal were found to favour the complainant?

None

I hope this clarifies matters.

Kind regards

Information Services

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Dear Hertsmere Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Hertsmere Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Bullying in Hertsmere Borough Council'.

Your ability to compile and declare low and simple figures to simple questions is called into question now. I have lost confidence in you. Also, you have not provided any explanation as to how the error came about. If this quite clear anomaly by chance could not be right because of the way the questions were formulated, no-one would have been any the wiser and your incorrect figures may have gone unnoticed. I think therefore that this need explaining.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/b...

Yours faithfully,

Yabootoyou

Paul Hughes, Hertsmere Borough Council

6 Attachments

Dear Mr Lewis,

 

I have been asked to undertake a review of a recent Freedom of Information
request you made concerning bullying at work and have now had an
opportunity to review the circumstances and response to that request.

 

Having reviewed the initial response I can see why there was confusion
with the reply, the logic of answer was awry. I have interviewed the
complier of the reply and was told that they had made a mistake which led
to the wrong figures being provided. Their view was readily provided and I
was pleased to note that a corrected response had been provided. From my
investigations I am sure that this mistake was not an attempt made to
disguise or corrupt the information provided, rather it was a simple
mistake. Hertsmere regrets this mistake and apologises for any
inconvenience caused.

 

I note that you have lost confidence in this Authority and I am sorry that
is the case. However I am confident that the revised information on
bullying now provided is correct.

 

Regards 

 

 

Paul Hughes

Democratic Services Manager
Hertsmere Borough Council | Civic Offices | Elstree Way | Borehamwood |
Herts | WD6 1WA
t: 0208 207 7578  

 

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Dear Paul Hughes,

Your review says NOTHING and does not say how the error came about. You say the following:

"Having reviewed the initial response I can see why there was confusion
with the reply, the logic of answer was awry. I have interviewed the
complier of the reply and was told that they had made a mistake which led
to the wrong figures being provided. "

It is quite clear a mistake occurred before I applied for a review by the very fact of the change of numbers. You say you can see "why there was confusion with the reply" but provide nothing to support this. This is simply repeating the fact that there was a mistake, which is the "bleedin' obvious".

I am unhappy with this reply and intend complaining to the ICO unless you provide a convincing reply as to how this mistake came about. You will be aware that I am at the stage where I could do this now and that you are being given another chance.

Yours sincerely,

Yabootoyou

Paul Hughes, Hertsmere Borough Council

Dear Mr Lewis,

Thank you for your reply and I note your threat to refer the matter to the ICO, of course you are free to do as you see fit.

We have made available the information you sought and I have replied honestly to your request for a review, there is nothing more I can add - a mistake was made and it was corrected. Let me say again that my investigation did not show any attempt to disguise or misrepresent the figures, which must be a very important factor to bear in mind. I know I am repeating myself but it was a mistake, the staff Member did not pay sufficient regard to the question to respond accurately.

My previous reply says all it can about the circumstances of this error, I have no additional detail I can pass on. Here it is my turn to say that that fact must have been bleedin' obvious.

Regards

Paul Hughes
Democratic Services Manager
Hertsmere Borough Council | Civic Offices | Elstree Way | Borehamwood | Herts | WD6 1WA
t: 0208 207 7578

www.hertsmere.gov.uk

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Yabootoyou left an annotation ()

This is a proper explanation, as exampled by Pembrokeshire, which explains the error, not just that there was an error, which is the bleedin' obvious!

"Dear Mr Lewis,

Please accept our apologies, there was an error when typing up the information. Please find attached the correct version.

Kind regards,

The FOI Team
Pembrokeshire County Council
County Hall
Haverfordwest
SA61 1TP"

Tel: 01437 775380
Email: [Pembrokeshire Council request email]