Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Hackney 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 Hackney 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

Poku Antwi-Agyei,

Dear Mr Cardin,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - request for information.

I acknowledge your request for information received on 04 January 2011.

Your request is being considered and you will receive a full response to
your request, within the statutory timescale of 20 working days (from
the day after the request is received) as defined by the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal
font size. If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio,
large print, etc. then please let me know.

The Act defines a number of exemptions, some of which are subject to a
public interest test that may prevent release of the information. You
will be informed if this is the case, and you have a right to appeal
against our decision. Information relating to this will be included in
any refusal notice issued.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then
they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not
to release the information to you.

There may be a fee payable for this information. This will be considered
and you will be informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must
be paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 working
day time limit for responses is suspended until receipt of the payment.

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact me at the
address above.

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Poku Antwi-Agyei

show quoted sections

Pheng Lay,

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Charman

Please find attached a response to your FOI request.

Yours sincerely

Pheng Lay (Ms)
Information Management Officer
Phone: 0208 356 4032
[1][email address]

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication, the
only exception to this would be confidential survey data, with any
employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks.

By using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council
monitoring and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.For further information about Hackney Council policies
please contact Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

[2]http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

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Dear Pheng Lay,

I believe you have sent the wrong message in reply to my request. I asked about 'Compromise Agreements' but received details about 'Wind Turbines'.

My name is similar to the intended recipient, so I guess it was an easy mistake to make!

Please advise :-)

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Pheng Lay,

Dear Mr Cardin

Thank you for your email and for bringing this error to my attention.

I apologise for the erroneous response you received. The response was
intended for Mr Charman; the email address to which this response was
meant to be sent very similar to your email address.

Please be assured that your response is still being considered and the
council will provide this by the deadline of 01 February 2011.

Once again, my apologies for any confusion caused.

Yours sincerely

Pheng Lay (Ms)
Information Management Officer
Phone: 0208 356 4032
[email address]

Please consider the environment before printing this email

show quoted sections

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin,

Please see attached response to your FOI.

Regards

Sue Paul

Executive Support Officer

HR & OD

E: [1][email address]

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication, the
only exception to this would be confidential survey data, with any
employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks.

By using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council
monitoring and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.For further information about Hackney Council policies
please contact Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

[2]http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

**********************************************************************

This message has been scanned for malware by Websense. [3]www.websense.com

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
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Dear Sue Paul,

I appreciate that you haven't requested this, but may I clarify my original request and perhaps narrow it a little?

The word 'disputes' could be rather broad-ranging and I would like you to exclude any compromise agreements which refer to any of the following:

1. Purely redundancy situations
2. TUPE situations
3. Equal pay claims
4. COT3 agreements (where tribunal proceedings have been implemented)

In addition, given that to date, since 1st January 2011, 64 English Councils have responded fully and positively, I find it puzzling that you can give a total figure, but not break this down into annual figures.

May I request that you isolate these particular agreements (or the reduced number arrived at after narrowing down in accordance with the above), check the dates, and then re-advise in the following format: e.g. 2008 - 6; 2009 - 12; 2010 - 8, etc?

I appreciate the time you have spent thus far on this request and thank you in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Mr Cardin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - request for information.

I acknowledge your request for information received on 20 January 2011.
Please accept my apology for the slight delay in acknowledging your
request which was received by my colleague, Sue Paul.

Your request is being considered and you will receive a full response to
your request, within the statutory timescale of 20 working days (from
the day after the request is received) as defined by the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal
font size. If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio,
large print, etc. then please let me know.

The Act defines a number of exemptions, some of which are subject to a
public interest test that may prevent release of the information. You
will be informed if this is the case, and you have a right to appeal
against our decision. Information relating to this will be included in
any refusal notice issued.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then
they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not
to release the information to you.

There may be a fee payable for this information. This will be considered
and you will be informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must
be paid before the information is processed and released. The 20 working
day time limit for responses is suspended until receipt of the payment.

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact me at the
address above.

Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Pheng Lay (Ms)
Information Management Officer
Phone: 0208 356 4032
[email address]

Please consider the environment before printing this email

show quoted sections

Dear Hackney Borough Council,

Thanks for the response.

To narrow the query further, please could you also exclude:

Purely PILON (payment in lieu of notice) situations

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

1 Attachment

Dear Paul Cardin,

Please see response to your FOI dated 20 January.

Regards

Sue Paul

HR & OD

Hackney Council may exercise its right to intercept any communication, the
only exception to this would be confidential survey data, with any
employee or agent of the Council using its telephony or data networks.

By using these networks you give your consent to Hackney Council
monitoring and recording your communication.

If you have received this e-mail in error please delete it immediately and
contact the sender.For further information about Hackney Council policies
please contact Hackney Service Centre on: 020 8356 3000

**********************************************************************

London Borough of Hackney may exercise its right to intercept any
communication on its networks - for more information see

[1]http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...

**********************************************************************

This message has been scanned for malware by Websense. [2]www.websense.com

References

Visible links
1. http://www.hackney.gov.uk/email_disclaim...
2. http://www.websense.com/

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Hackney Borough Council were one of the slower respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 34 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