Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Liverpool 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 refused by Liverpool City Council.

Dear Liverpool City 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 (including teaching staff) 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 (including teaching staff) 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

Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

Dear Mr. Cardin,

Thank you for you request for information under Freedom of Information Act
which we received on 05/01/2011. In order to be of further assistance and
process your request efficiently I will need additional information as
follows:

- In your request you asked `as far as the records go back' which
is to broad for a request so it would be really helpful is you specify a
time frame for request e.g. 2008, 2009

- Do you want this information according to calendar years or
financial years e.g. 2008 or 2008/09.

If I did not hear from you by Monday 17/01/2011 I will assume you no
longer require this information and close the case accordingly.

Regards,

Jawahier Sharif Ali (Fatima)

Information Officer

Legal Service

Liverpool City Council

Municipal Buildings

Dale Street,

Liverpool

L2 2DH

Tel: 0151 225 3132

email: [email address]

Website: www.liverpool.gov.uk

2010 Year of Health and Wellbeing

www.2010healthandwellbeing.org.uk

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Dear Fatima,

Thanks for your quick response. Please send information for each year between 2005 and 2010 i.e. each of the last 6 years.

Please also send this information as "calendar years", both for totals for compromise agreements, and totals for FOI / DPA related gagging clauses.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Information Requests,

Thanks for your quick response. Please send information for each year between 2005 and 2010 i.e. each of the last 6 years.

Please also send this information as "calendar years", both for totals for compromise agreements, and totals for FOI / DPA related gagging clauses.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Glanville, Andrea, Liverpool City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin

Please find attached to your reponse under the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

Andrea Glanville
Legal Services
Liverpool City Council
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street
Liverpool
L2 2DH
Telephone 0151 225 2709
Fax: 0151 225 2392
email: [1][email address]

2010 Year of Health and Wellbeing
[2]www.2010healthandwellbeing.org.uk

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.2010healthandwellbeing.org.uk/

Dear Andrea,

Thanks very much for your response. I appreciate your position
however this query is identical to one which has been sent to ALL
English councils. So far, I have had 122 (one hundred and twenty
two) full and detailed responses. These councils did not have any
difficulty in responding positively to what is a reasonable
request.

I am currently involved in research in this area and in order to
make the task somewhat more manageable for you, can I make the
following changes?

Please can you exclude compromise agreements drawn up in the
following circumstances:

1. Purely redundancy situations
2. Purely PILON (payment in lieu of notice) situations
3. Equal pay claims
4. TUPE situations
5. COT3 agreements (where tribunal proceedings may or may not have
been initiated)

Also, to assist you further, I will narrow the time period down to
between the years 2005 to 2010 i.e. the last six years.

Given that a total of 122 councils have not found any difficulty, I
imagine that they may be taking a different approach to locating
the information.

Can I suggest that you query your Accounts Department? I ask this
because when employees leave in the circumstances I am describing,
they are offered a financial incentive to end their working
contracts and not make legal approaches to the Council in the
future. Your Accounts department is required to keep a detailed
electronic record of all such payments. As they will be keeping an
adequate data storage / retrieval system, it will not be too
arduous a task for them to provide Annual total figures for
compromise agreements drawn up in these circumstances.

You could also put in a call to your Legal Department who may keep
a similar searchable database.

I hope the above information assists you. I don't believe that the
possession of inadequate data storage / retrieval systems warrants
the use of an exclusion under the FOI Act and look forward to your
response,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Glanville, Andrea, Liverpool City Council

Dear Mr Cardin

This will now be considered under our internal review process, this will
be passed to another officer who was not previously involved with the
original response and we will respond to you within 40 days.

Regards

Andrea Glanville
Legal Services
Liverpool City Council
Municipal Buildings
Dale Street
Liverpool
L2 2DH
Telephone 0151 225 2709
Fax: 0151 225 2392
email: [email address]

2010 Year of Health and Wellbeing
www.2010healthandwellbeing.org.uk

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Dear Andrea,

Thanks for your response.

I didn't ASK for an internal review. I was hoping I'd provide enough info, and narrowed the scope of the query enough for you to act on it, whilst saving public money.

However, if you believe this is the appropriate course of action, thank you in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Liverpool City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Liverpool City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.'.

As arranged by yourselves 20 days ago (not working days) on 31st January
Thanks in advance.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/to...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

1 Attachment

Please find attached response

Regards,

Kevin Symm

Senior Information Officer

Legal Services

Liverpool City Council

Municipal Buildings

Dale Street

Liverpool

L2 2DH

TEL: 0151 225 3007

[1][email address]

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References

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1. mailto:[email address]
file:///tmp/BLOCKED::mailto:[email address]

Dear Symm, Kevin,

Many thanks for your response. I don't believe you have exhausted the process.

Please address the second point I made in the original request i.e. Does the council or has it ever attempted to restrict the statutory querying rights of individuals as part of a compromise agreement, by including "gagging clauses" in relation to FOI / DPA?

This is part of the original query. Please do not avail yourselves of an extra 20 working days' grace,

many thanks in advance.
Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Symm, Kevin,

Many thanks for your response. I don't believe you have fully reviewed or exhausted the process, or the information I have requested.

Please address the second point I made in the original request i.e. Does the council or has it ever attempted to restrict the statutory querying rights of individuals as part of a compromise agreement, by including "gagging clauses" in relation to FOI / DPA?

This is part of the original query. Please do not avail yourselves of an extra 20 working days' grace,

many thanks in advance.
Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Mr Cardin

As stated in my previous correspondence you have exhausted the council's
appeal process.

If you wish to pursue the matter further please contact the Information
Commissioners' Office, the contact details are included in the response

Regards,

Kevin Symm

Senior Information Officer

Legal Services

Liverpool City Council

Municipal Buildings

Dale Street

Liverpool

L2 2DH

TEL: 0151 225 3007

[email address]

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Dear Symm, Kevin,

With respect Kevin, read my last email and please endeavour to respond to the precise question, preferably in line with your LGA colleagues, 229 of whom have responded positively and in full since 1st January 2011.

Can I suggest that a quick call to your Legal Department might come up trumps?

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Symm, Kevin, Liverpool City Council

Dear Mr Cardin

It has been explained in both our original response and our response to
your appeal that we cannot provide this information.

I can only suggest that you contact the ICO, as indicated below, if you
wish to take the matter further

Regards,

Kevin Symm

Senior Information Officer

Legal Services

Liverpool City Council

Municipal Buildings

Dale Street

Liverpool

L2 2DH

TEL: 0151 225 3007

[email address]

show quoted sections

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Liverpool City Council went to internal review, before deciding against supplying the information. This has been appealed with the Information Commissioner's Office.

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 less controversial areas of redundancy, severance or equal pay claims. Some councils have yet to answer this query - and to date, 65 working days have elapsed.