Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Kingston upon Thames 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 Kingston upon Thames Borough Council,

Please supply Annual 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 sign and 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 provide the figures in the following format e.g. 2006 - 2; 2007 - 4; 2008 - 0; 2010 - 6; etc.

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

David Ward,

Dear Mr Cardin

I acknowledge your request for information received on 4 January 2011.

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party.

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

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may prevent release of the information you have requested. There will be an assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal.

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. You will be informed if this is the case.

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.

Yours sincerely

David Ward

David Ward - Pay & Rewards Manager
Human Resources Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
*: 020 8547 5258 Fax: 020 8547 5188
*: [email address]
The information contained in this message is confidential. It is intended solely for use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and others authorised to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, copying, dissemination or disclosure of the information is strictly prohibited.

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Dear David Ward,

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

David Ward,

Dear Mr Cardin

Apologies for the delay in our response.

Unfortunately I have been away on sick leave until today and one of the officers who holds the information you request has also been absent on jury service.

We will respond as a priority.

David Ward

David Ward - Pay & Rewards Manager
Human Resources Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
*: 020 8547 5258 Fax: 020 8547 5188
*: [email address]
The information contained in this message is confidential. It is intended solely for use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and others authorised to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, copying, dissemination or disclosure of the information is strictly prohibited.

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Dear David Ward,

Thanks for the assurance but it's now 20th February and despite the priority given to this, I've heard nothing. I hope to receive the information you hold in the near future,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

David Ward,

Dear Mr Cardin

Sincere apologies, I have obtained the figures you requested but I am relying on information from another department concerning your point on the wording of agreements.

I think there must have been a misunderstanding here about who was going to collate the information and get back to you.

I've taken the necessary action to ensure one of us will reply to you urgently.

David Ward

David Ward - Pay & Rewards Manager
Human Resources Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
*: 020 8547 5258 Fax: 020 8547 5188
*: [email address]
The information contained in this message is confidential. It is intended solely for use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and others authorised to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, copying, dissemination or disclosure of the information is strictly prohibited.

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Dear David Ward,

Thank you. I'll look forward to that,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Kingston upon Thames Borough Council,

It's now March, and despite your assurances I haven't heard a thing.

I would appreciate an urgent response, as promised,

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

John Newnham,

Dear Mr Cardin

Apologies for the delay in providing you with information relating to your
4 January request.

08-09 8

09-10 1

As to your second question re forgoing rights the answer is none. I
question whether it would be lawful/enforceable in any event.

If you have any concerns or queries about the handling of your enquiry
then please contact the Records Manager & Data Protection Officer, Royal
Borough of Kingston upon Thames, High Street, Kingston upon Thames, KT1
1EU, telephone 020 8547 5757, Email: [1][Kingston upon Thames Borough Council request email]

Further information on the Act is available from the Information
Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700 [2]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours faithfully

John Newnham

Principal Solicitor
Department of Legal Services
020 8547 4631
Fax 020 8547 5127/3
e-mail [email address]

The information contained in this message is confidential. It is intended
solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and
others authorised to receive it. If the reader of this message is not the
intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, copying,
dissemination or disclosure of this information is strictly prohibited

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Kingston upon Thames Borough Council request email]
2. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

345 Councils were asked these questions. Kingston upon Thames Borough Council responded outside the statutory limit, taking 49 working 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.

East Devon positively commented with regard to FOI / DP related gagging clauses: "As to your second question re forgoing rights the answer is none. I question whether it would be lawful/enforceable in any event.."

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