Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Gloucester City 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 Gloucester City 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

Fozia Yamin, Gloucester City Council

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information (FOI)
request made to Gloucester City Council.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), we
anticipate to respond to your request for information within 20 working
days. If this is not the case, we will be in touch to discuss an extension
to this deadline.

For further information on making a FOI request with Gloucester City
Council, or to view our online Publication Scheme; click here.

Kind regards,

Fozia Yamin
Policy and Information Officer

( 01452 396967 Policy & Information
Service
*
[1][email address] Gloucester City Council
North Warehouse, The Docks
: [2]www.gloucester.gov.uk
Gloucester. GL1 2EP

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Dear Fozia Yamin,

By law, I believe the authority should have responded promptly and
by 1st February 2011.

Although I have received no response, to assist, I would like to
'sharpen' and reduce the scope of the original request as follows:

Please exclude all COT3 Agreements and all compromise agreements
drawn up in the following circumstances:

1. Purely redundancy situations
2. Purely PILON (pay in lieu of notice) situations
3. Equal pay claims
4. TUPE situations

Further to this, please reduce the time period to the years between
2005 and 2010 i.e. the last six years.

I am researching this particular area and aim to view trends and
movements both regionally and nationally. It would benefit myself
and the authority if the figures reached were as accurate as
possible.

When responding, please give figures in calendar year format e.g.
2005 - 1; 2006 - 3; 2007 - 2; etc.

Many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Fozia Yamin, Gloucester City Council

Our Ref: 00 619 859

Thursday, 03 February 2011

Dear Mr Cardin,

Re: Freedom of Information request

Thank you for your request for information received on 3^rd January 2011
concerning Gloucester City Council employees who have signed compromise
agreements.

Your request is being handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA).

Firstly, let me begin by apologising for the delay in responding to your
FOI request. Please find below Gloucester City Council's response to your
request for information.

Q. 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.
A. Having searched our records I can confirm that as far as our records go
back Gloucester City Council has had zero 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).

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request a review by contacting the Council at:

* E-mail [email address]
( Telephone 01452 396 967
+ Post Freedom of Information

Gloucester City Council

Herbert Warehouse

The Docks

Gloucester

GL1 2EQ

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint,
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45

Website: www.ico.gov.uk

There is no charge for making an appeal.

Kind regards,

Fozia Yamin
Policy and Information Officer

( 01452 396967 Policy & Information
Service
*
[1][email address] Gloucester City Council
North Warehouse, The Docks
: [2]www.gloucester.gov.uk
Gloucester. GL1 2EP

================================================================
DISCLAIMER
This message is intended for the recipient only and may contain privileged
information.
If you are not the addressee, or you have received it in error, you may
not copy, disclose, print,
or deliver this message to anyone. Should this be the case, please delete
this message, and inform
the sender of your action by reply e-mail.
Gloucester City Council does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of
information in this message,
and any views expressed are not necessarily the views of Gloucester City
Council.
Gloucester City Council does not accept any responsibility for any
disruption or loss to your data or
computer systems that may occur whilst using any program or document
attached to this message.
You are advised not to send confidential or sensitive information by
e-mail, as the security of the
site cannot be guaranteed.

Email communications may be logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal
purposes.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.gloucester.gov.uk/

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Gloucester City Council were one of the slower respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 24 working days (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