Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Epping Forest 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 Epping Forest District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

As far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number of current employees / ex-employees of the Council who have signed compromise agreements directly related to the resolving of dispute(s) / grievance(s) / internal and external investigation(s) / whistleblowing incident(s).

In addition to this, annual figures for the number of current employees / ex-employees who have agreed, following the matter being raised and made conditional as part of a compromise agreement drawn up by the body acting as the Council's legal team, to forgo their right to approach the council in the future with Freedom of Information and/or DPA Subject Access requests under the relevant Acts.

Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information such as names and addresses – only the total figures for each subject area.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Contact Us, Epping Forest District Council

Hello and thank you for your email.

Your comments have been successfully sent to Epping Forest District
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If you have not received a reply within eight working days please do not
hesitate to contact us again.

Regards.

PR at Contact Us
Epping Forest District Council

Email [1][email address] or visit the website at
[2]www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk

>>> Paul Cardin <[FOI #56635 email]> 01/03 10:26 pm
>>>
Dear Epping Forest District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

As far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number
of current employees / ex-employees of the Council who have signed
compromise agreements directly related to the resolving of
dispute(s) / grievance(s) / internal and external investigation(s)
/ whistleblowing incident(s).

In addition to this, annual figures for the number of current
employees / ex-employees who have agreed, following the matter
being raised and made conditional as part of a compromise agreement
drawn up ! by the body acting as the Council's legal team, to forgo
their right to approach the council in the future with Freedom of
Information and/or DPA Subject Access requests under the relevant
Acts.

Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information
such as names and addresses * only the total figures for each
subject area.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

show quoted sections

Graham Lunnun, Epping Forest District Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin,

I attach an acknowledgement of your request sent on 3 January 2011.

Regards

Graham Lunnun
Assistant Director Democratic Services
Epping Forest District Council
Tel: 01992 564244
Email: [email address]

show quoted sections

Dear Epping Forest District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

As far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number
of current employees / ex-employees of the Council who have signed
compromise agreements directly related to the resolving of
dispute(s) / grievance(s) / internal and external investigation(s)
/ whistleblowing incident(s).

In addition to this, annual figures for the number of current
employees / ex-employees who have agreed, following the matter
being raised and made conditional as part of a compromise agreement
drawn up by the body acting as the Council's legal team, to forgo
their right to approach the council in the future with Freedom of
Information and/or DPA Subject Access requests under the relevant
Acts.

Please note that I do not seek or require any personal information
such as names and addresses * only the total figures for each
subject area.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

show quoted sections

Paula Maginnis, Epping Forest District Council

Hi Graham

We have no Agreements which fit the categories stated. However, there
has been 1 Compromise Agreement. Looking through the Agreement I cannot
see a specific clause which states they cannot approach the Council with
FOI DPA requests.

Regards

Paula

show quoted sections

Graham Lunnun, Epping Forest District Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Cardin,

I attach a reply to your request sent on 3 January 2011.

Regards

Graham Lunnun
Assistant Director Democratic Services
Epping Forest District Council
Tel: 01992 564244
Email: [email address]


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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Epping Forest District Council were one of the slower respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 21 working days (just over the statutory period) to respond positively and in full.

Please link here to read about the further aspects of this request:

www.easyvirtualassistance.co.uk/page4.html

...including councils who have attempted to prevent individuals from exercising their statutory FOI / DP querying rights.

There is a growing trend for the use of compromise agreements, not just in the area of disputes or whistleblowing, but also in general redundancy or equal pay claims. Some councils have yet to answer this query - and to date, 65 working days have elapsed

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Here’s a piece of legal opinion from Senior Counsel Hugh Tomlinson QC, which appears to make more likely the prospect of public sector employers opting for Freedom of Information and Data Protection “gagging clauses” within compromise agreements; and thereby aiming to remove persons’ statutory rights to make data and information requests.

It has been an effective reputation management tactic, and a way of concealing the historical malpractice engaged in by employers when targetting whistleblowers or getting rid of people who’ve lodged grievances. The ruse has been deployed in the past by two councils; Cheshire West & Chester, and Brent.

The ICO are powerless to prevent it as the HT opinion implies that contract law takes precedence over a person’s statutory rights – which it appears can be surrendered. The ICO could only act if the recipient of any “ban” were to breach it and make an FoI or DP request of the relevant data controller – which is unlikely to occur because there’s always a “club over the head” of the signatory to the compromise agreement i.e. the threat of any monetary pay off being clawed back through the courts.

http://tinyurl.com/bu9vynx