Gagging Orders

tim todd made this Freedom of Information request to East Devon District 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 successful.

Dear East Devon District Council,

The Telegraph, dated 3rd April 2013, reports that many local authorities have used 'gagging orders' on departing employees at considerable cost to the public purse. I have read somewhere, that EDDC has partaken in the practice in the past.(If I can find the reference again I will forward it)

Will you kindly provide the fullest details permitted of any such gagging orders to which any East Devon District Council former staff have been subjected.

I do not expect names but would expect the approximate dates, the department of the individuals concerned (especially those in planning) and any sums of public money involved- both individual sums and the total on any such orders.

Any explanation of the need for such orders would also be welcomed.

Finally, in light of government and national concern over 'gagging orders", does EDDC have a view on the issue of stopping using such methods in the future, or indeed in releasing any ex-employee from any such orders?

Thank you.
Yours faithfully,

tim todd

East Devon District Council

Thank you for submitting a request for information. We will respond to your request as quickly as possible, within the 20 working day statutory deadline under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For updates on this case, please quote your unique reference number 101000283348 .

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Customer Service Centre
East Devon District Council
Web: www.eastdevon.gov.uk

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Dear East Devon District Council,

Further to my request above,I have located the reference. It was from EDDC Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 28 March when the Chief Executive mentioned confidentiality clauses.

Yours faithfully,

tim todd

East Devon District Council

Dear Mr Todd,

Thank you for your request for information. Please find the response to your query below.

Like many other organisations, East Devon District Council has used compromise agreements in a limited way to terminate the employment relationship, normally in situations which may relate to conduct, capability or redundancy.

There have been 6 instances in the last 3 years - 4 in 2010, 1 in 2011 and 1 in 2012.

Compromise agreements include a confidentiality agreement and the individual is required, by law, to obtain legal advice before signing this document. The confidentiality agreement binds EDDC into a contract which means that we cannot disclose the fact that the individual's employment was terminated through such an agreement.

The sums of money paid to an individual in each case relate to the contractual entitlements of that individual.

There are no plans to release individuals from any part of the obligations made through the use of compromise agreements and these will continue to be used where appropriate, and particularly where their use will help the Council to avoid defending costly claims in a tribunal setting.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you are not satisfied with the way we have responded to your request, please fill in our online complaint form at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/making_a_complaint or write to the Monitoring Officer, EDDC, Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL.

Kate Symington
Information and Complaints Officer
East Devon District Council

01395 517417
www.eastdevon.gov.uk

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tim todd left an annotation ()

Request for sums involved, and departments concerned, submitted 17/04/13

Dear East Devon District Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of East Devon District Council's handling of my FOI request 'Gagging Orders'.

My request for sums of money involved, and departments seems to have been ignored. Plenty of time for an answer has passed by. Review asap please.

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

Yours faithfully,

tim todd

Denise Lyon, East Devon District Council

Dear Mr Todd

 

I am sorry that you feel dissatisfied with the response you have received
to your request under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

As previously advised, 6 employees have left the Council in the last 3
years under a compromise agreement. The total amount of contractual
payments made was £137,874.

 

As also previously advised, we are not able to disclose any detail about
these agreements which could potentially identify the individuals involved
– this includes the service areas in which they worked and the dates that
their employment was terminated.

 

The confidentiality agreement binds EDDC into a contract which means that
we cannot disclose the fact that an individual’s employment was terminated
through such an agreement, nor can we disclose the sums of money paid to
that individual as this relates to the individual’s contract entitlements.

 

This information is exempt under s40 of the Freedom of Information Act
(personal data) and s41 (b)(Information provided in confidence)

 

If you remain dissatisfied with our response, you have the right to refer
your request to the Information Commissioner at [1]www.ico.gov.uk or on
0303 123 1113

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Denise Lyon

Deputy Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer

East Devon District Council

Tel: 01395 516551 x2680

 

Direct dial: 01395 517480

Web: [2]www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
2. http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/

Kate Symington, East Devon District Council

Mr Todd

 

Further to our response to your request for information, and our internal
review, it has been noticed that the financial information provided in
respect of compromise agreements was actually for a wider time period than
stated.

 

The amount quoted (£137,874) covers all compromise agreements with staff
dating back to 2004 and relates to 11 staff.

 

I hope this clarification is helpful and apologies for any confusion.

 

 

Mrs Kate Symington

Information and Complaints Officer

East Devon District Council

 

01395 517417

www.eastdevon.gov.uk

 

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