Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Basildon Borough Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Basildon District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

Since the inception of Basildon District Council, or as far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number of current employees or ex-employees of Basildon District 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 Basildon District 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

Basildon Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Cardin,

Please find attached our acknowledgement of your recent Freedom of
Information request.

With best regards,

Alan Larn
Service Advice Centre
Basildon Borough Council
01268 294826

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Basildon Borough Council

2 Attachments

Please see attached

Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this
e-mail

This message does not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, policies or
procedures of Basildon Borough Council or its partners and does not give
rise to any contract, undertaking or agreement. eMail is not a secure form
of communication. Every effort has been made to ensure that this message
has been correctly addressed. It and any associated file(s) may contain
privileged or confidential information or details intended only for the
sender and the intended recipient. If this message is received by anyone
other than the intended recipient please delete the message and any
associated file(s) and destroy any printed copy. Please notify the sender
by a return e-mail or telephone and make them aware that the message has
been received by someone other than the intended recipient. If the subject
line of this email begins PER: then the email is a personal one and is the
personal responsibility of the sender and not Basildon Borough Council or
its partners.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Basildon District Council were one of the quickest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 17 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 - 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