Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Erewash 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 successful.

Dear Erewash Borough 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

Stephen Harrold, Erewash Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request for Information

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We will now proceed with the new request which we
received on 4th January 2011 and will respond within 20 working days.

This request may be subject to certain exemptions as prescribed under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, in which case the Authority may have to
refuse the request, or any part of the request, subject to determining
whether any exemptions are applicable.

Once the information has been identified the Authority may also ask that a
fee be paid for processing and delivering the information to you. Details
of any fee to be charged will be notified to you as soon as possible.

Any consideration of exemptions or fees may result in a delay in the
intended date for delivering the information.

Any future correspondence you may have in relation to this matter should
be marked private & confidential and sent to the Information Officer at
the above address.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Harrold

Information Officer

Executive Office

Erewash Borough Council

Ilkeston Town Hall

Wharncliffe Road

Ilkeston, Derbyshire

DE7 5RP

Tel: 0845 9072244 ext 3573

Fax: 0115 9071121

Email: [email address]

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Stephen Harrold, Erewash Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request for Information

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We will now proceed with the new request which we
received on 4th January 2011 and will respond within 20 working days.

This request may be subject to certain exemptions as prescribed under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, in which case the Authority may have to
refuse the request, or any part of the request, subject to determining
whether any exemptions are applicable.

Once the information has been identified the Authority may also ask that a
fee be paid for processing and delivering the information to you. Details
of any fee to be charged will be notified to you as soon as possible.

Any consideration of exemptions or fees may result in a delay in the
intended date for delivering the information.

Any future correspondence you may have in relation to this matter should
be marked private & confidential and sent to the Information Officer at
the above address.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Harrold

Information Officer

Executive Office

Erewash Borough Council

Ilkeston Town Hall

Wharncliffe Road

Ilkeston, Derbyshire

DE7 5RP

Tel: 0845 9072244 ext 3573

Fax: 0115 9071121

Email: [email address]

show quoted sections

Stephen Harrold, Erewash Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request for Information

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We will now proceed with the new request which we
received on 4th January 2011 and will respond within 20 working days.

This request may be subject to certain exemptions as prescribed under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000, in which case the Authority may have to
refuse the request, or any part of the request, subject to determining
whether any exemptions are applicable.

Once the information has been identified the Authority may also ask that a
fee be paid for processing and delivering the information to you. Details
of any fee to be charged will be notified to you as soon as possible.

Any consideration of exemptions or fees may result in a delay in the
intended date for delivering the information.

Any future correspondence you may have in relation to this matter should
be marked private & confidential and sent to the Information Officer at
the above address.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Harrold

Information Officer

Executive Office

Erewash Borough Council

Ilkeston Town Hall

Wharncliffe Road

Ilkeston, Derbyshire

DE7 5RP

Tel: 0845 9072244 ext 3573

Fax: 0115 9071121

Email: [email address]

show quoted sections

Stephen Harrold, Erewash Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request for Information

I am writing in respect of your recent enquiry for information held by the
Authority under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Having consulted our Legal Department on your specific request they inform
me that 23 severance/compromise agreements have been signed in the past 5
years which are directly related to the resolving of dispute(s)/
grievance(s) / internal and external investigation(s)/ whistleblowing
incident(s).

None of these or other agreements have included the clause 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.

Most of the information that we provide in response to the Freedom of
Information Act 2000/Environmental Information Regulations 2004 requests
will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases the copyright will
be owned by Erewash Borough Council. The copyright in other information
may be owned by another person or organisation, as indicated by the
information itself.

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
non commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for the
purpose of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for example,
by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require
the permission of the copyright holder.

For information where the copyright is owned by Erewash Borough Council
details of the conditions on re-use can be found on our website at:
http://www.erewash.gov.uk/about_the_coun...
.

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or
organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their
permission.

If for whatever reason you are unhappy with our response you are entitled
to pursue any dissatisfaction through the Council's Complaints Procedure
details of which are available via the Council’s website at:-
http://www.erewash.gov.uk/about_the_coun...

Should you remain dissatisfied you can appeal against the decision by
contacting the Information Commissioner. Generally, the Information
Commissioners Office cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by Erewash Borough Council. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. If you have any
further queries regarding this matter please refer them to the Information
Officer at the address below.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Harrold

Information Officer

Executive Office

Erewash Borough Council

Ilkeston Town Hall

Wharncliffe Road

Ilkeston, Derbyshire

DE7 5RP

Tel: 0845 9072244 ext 3573

Fax: 0115 9071121

Email: [email address]

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.erewash.gov.uk/

Dear Stephen Harrold,

Many thanks for your very quick response. Please could you break down the 23 figure into Annual totals e.g. 2006 - 3; 2007 - 7; etc?

I appreciate your time and effort on this,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Stephen Harrold, Erewash Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Please find the breakdown of the 23 severance agreements have been signed
over the past 5 financial years.

2005/06 - 2

2006/07 - 2

2007/08 - 1

2008/09 - 14

2009/10 – 4

I hope this answers your question but should you require any further in
formation please do not hesitate to contact me at the address below.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Harrold

Information Officer

Executive Office

Erewash Borough Council

Ilkeston Town Hall

Wharncliffe Road

Ilkeston, Derbyshire

DE7 5RP

Tel: 0845 9072244 ext 3573

Fax: 0115 9071121

Email: [email address]

show quoted sections

Dear Stephen Harrold,

Thank you very much for your time,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Erewash Borough Council were one of the quickest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking only 3 days 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 - although to date, 65 working days have elapsed.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Update here on Freedom of Information gagging clauses, including the opinion of senior counsel, Hugh Tomlinson QC:

http://easyvirtualassistance.wordpress.c...

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