Cost of Senior Management changes

Oliver Keen made this Freedom of Information request to Stroud District Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Stroud District Council,

I note from the Council's website and the Chief Executive's piece in the Municipal Journal recently, that the Council has been busy changing its senior management team in response to LGA Peer Review recommendations.

In the interest of public scrutiny, I would like to know the following for the calendar years 2019 (to 31 October), 2018 and 2017 (full years)

1. The turnover within the senior management team (as defined within the Local Government Transparency Code 2015) by role indicating the reason for leaving (sacked/dismissed, redundancy, resigned, mutual agreement, retirement, changed role internally, promoted)

2. Whether the Council entered into any financial arrangement with any of the senior management team concerning the termination of employment? Please provide details of the post involved, and the cost involved including (but not limited to) any settlement agreement/ex-gratia payment/non-contractual payment, redundancy payment (statutory or enhanced), payment in lieu of notice.

3. Approval for any such arrangements - who signed-off the decision?

4. Was any individual subject to a non-disclosure agreement, confidentiality clause or gagging order? If so, please provide details of the post and any Legal or Human Resources advice obtained to support the Council's decision. Please state the cost to the taxpayer of such advice.

5. The costs incurred to date this financial year in the recruitment and selection process for the new senior management roles. Please provide details of recruitment agency costs, advertising, travel and subsistence expenses, golden hellos etc.

Yours faithfully,

Oliver Keen

foi@stroud.gov.uk, Stroud District Council

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Stroud District Council

Dear Mr Keen

 

Request for Information

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 5^th November 2019.

 

Your request is being processed and you will be contacted again with a
response within the statutory twenty working day time limit.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Human Resources Team

Stroud District Council

 

 

 

The information included in this e-mail is of a confidential nature and is
intended only for the addressee. If you are not the intended addressee,
any disclosure, copying or distribution by you is prohibited and may be
unlawful. Disclosure to any party other than the addressee, whether
inadvertent or otherwise is not intended to waive privilege or
confidentiality.

Stroud District Council

Dear Mr Keen

 

Thank you for your email of the 5th of November 2019 where you requested
information about the matters referred to below for the complete years of
2017 & 2018 and for 2019 up to the 31st of October.  We have handled this
information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and apologise for
the delay in our response.

 

We can confirm that we hold the information requested and will provide
some of the information to you. However, the Council believes that certain
information requested is exempt from disclosure under Section 40 (2)
(personal information) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). This
is because the information constitutes personal data as defined in the
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and disclosing it would breach
the principles of fair and lawful processing set out in the GDPR.

 

We will deal with your requests in the order they arise:

 

1.            You asked for the turnover within the senior management team
by role indicating the reason for leaving.  We hold this data by financial
year.

 

Response

 

In terms of turnover, sometimes referred to as attrition rate, this is as
follows:

 

2016 / 17 - 8%

2017/18 – 8%

2018/19 – 42%

2019 – 2 members of staff left the organisation but due to the
reorganisation of the senior management re-structure, we are not able to
calculate a percentage.

 

Given the nature of the information requested, we believe that the reason
for leaving and identification of the roles would identify individuals and
as such constitutes personal data which is exempt from disclosure on the
basis that disclosure of this information would breach data protection
principles, in particular, that personal information must be processed
fairly. 

 

Save where provided in relation to the requests set out below, the Council
considers that disclosure of the information requested would not be fair
to the data subject bearing in mind the reasonable expectations of the
data subject and the consequences of the disclosure.  In addition, in some
instances, the data is sensitive personal data.

 

2.            You asked whether the Council entered into any financial
arrangement with any of the senior management team concerning the
termination of employment.  You requested details of the post involved and
the cost, including whether there was a settlement agreement.

 

Response

 

The Council made three payments to senior managers who left the
organisation during the period in question.

 

The payments were as follows:

 

31.01.17               Pay in Lieu of Notice Employee
A                                                              £11,604.00

31.01.19               Pay in Lieu of Notice Employee
B                                                               £ 4,539.83

31.07.19               Compensation for Loss of Office Employee C       
                                £60,000.00

 

In relation to Employees A & B, the Council repeats its reliance on the
exemption contained in Section 40(2) FOIA.  In terms of the seniority of
the employees concerned, the Council is of the view that the information
requested relates to personnel information relating to the individuals as
opposed to their role.  Therefore, the Council will only provide certain
information in relation to one of the former employees. 

 

In respect of Employee C, a Settlement Agreement was concluded and the
details are as follows:

 

Director of Tenant and Corporate Services

 

3.            You asked who gave approval for the Settlement Agreement

 

Response

 

The Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader

 

4.            You asked whether any individual was subject to a non
disclosure agreement, etc

 

Response

 

There was a standard confidentiality clause in the Settlement Agreement. 
The terms of the confidentiality clause relate to maintaining
confidentiality over Council business, the existence and terms of the
Settlement Agreement and the circumstances regarding the termination of
employment.  The clause is explicit in that this does not prevent proper
disclosure where legally required.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the Council maintains the exemption under
Section 40(2) over the Settlement Agreement and will not provide a copy.

 

5.            You requested the costs to date in this financial year of
the recruitment and selection process for the new senior management roles.

 

Response

 

The cost of the process to date is £53,797.72

 

This was for the process to recruit four strategic directors and includes
recruitment consultants costs, advertising, subsistence, travel and
catering.  There are no ‘golden hello’ payments.

 

 

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original letter and should be addressed to Strategic Director of
Resources.

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9
5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Human Resources Team

Stroud District Council

 

Ebley Mill,

Ebley Wharf
Stroud,

Gloucestershire.

GL5 4UB
T   01453 754273
W  [1]www.stroud.gov.uk

 

Working together to make Stroud district a better place to live, work and
visit

 

 

The information included in this e-mail is of a confidential nature and is
intended only for the addressee. If you are not the intended addressee,
any disclosure, copying or distribution by you is prohibited and may be
unlawful. Disclosure to any party other than the addressee, whether
inadvertent or otherwise is not intended to waive privilege or
confidentiality.

References

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