Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Malvern Hills District 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 Malvern Hills District 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

Worcestershire Hub \(Please Do Not Reply\),

Thank you for contacting the Worcestershire Hub. Your enquiry has been logged and we will respond to you within 1 working day. Your unique reference number relating to this request is 3724626. Please do not reply to this email.

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Worcestershire Hub \(Malvern\), Malvern Hills District Council

Dear Mr Cardin
Thank you for contacting the Worcestershire Hub regarding your Freedom of
Information Request.
I have passed your email to the FOI office and they will respond directly
to you regarding your request.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us
again.

We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of service we offer
to our customers. We would appreciate it if you could spare a few minutes
of your time to give us feedback about your recent experience when
contacting the Worcestershire Hub. Tell us what you think by completing
our customer satisfaction survey:
www.worcestershire.gov.uk/researchweb/hu...

Regards,
James Marshall
Team Leader
Worcestershire Hub

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Gill Farrell, Malvern Hills District Council

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Dear Mr Cardin

Request for information concerning Compromise Agreements

Thank you for your request for information received on the 4 January 2011.
Your request is being considered and we will contact you not later than 20
working days following the date on which your request was received.
The Freedom of Information Act defines a number of exemptions, which may
prevent release of some or all of the information you have asked for. If
this is the case we will write to advise you and also inform you of your
rights of appeal.
In some circumstances we may make a charge for this information. This will
be considered and we will tell you if a fee is payable. If a fee is
payable, it must be paid before the information is processed and released.
The 20 working day time limit allowed for our response will be suspended
until receipt of the payment.
Payment must be made within three months.
If you have any queries regarding your request, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

Yours sincerely
Gill Farrell
Information & Risk Management Officer
Tel 01684 862154
email: [email address]
Why not visit our website at [1]www.malvernhills.gov.uk
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Gill Farrell, Malvern Hills District Council

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Dear Mr Cardin

Request for information concerning Compromise Agreements

I refer to your request for information received on the 4 January 2011.

Unfortunately we do not have a central list of compromise agreements that
have been entered into and are therefore unable to provide you with the
information requested.

I understand that we have only ever used compromise agreements following
termination of employment and where some agreement has been reached as to
the terms of dismissal/redundancy/early retirement (as the case may be);
not as a result of internal grievance procedures or whistle blowing cases.

As far as we are aware, none of the compromise agreements we have entered
into have sought to remove or restrict a person's rights to make FOI or
subject access requests and we are doubtful a compromise agreement would
be effective in that respect in any event.

We do not hold any information in relation to teaching staff. If you are
interested in obtaining information in relation to teaching staff, you
should submit your request to Worcestershire County Council who may hold
this information. The contact details are as follows:-
Information Access Officer
Worcestershire County Council
County Hall
Spetchley Road
Worcester
WR5 2NP
Email: [1][email address]
I am sorry that on this occasion, we are unable to assist you any further.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to Mr Nigel Snape, Head of Legal and Governance, Malvern
Hills District Council, The Council House, Avenue Road, Malvern, Worcs.
WR14 3AF.

If you are not content with the outcome your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.
Yours sincerely
Gill Farrell
Information & Risk Management Officer
Tel 01684 862154
email: [email address]
Why not visit our website at [2]www.malvernhills.gov.uk
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Dear Malvern Hills District Council,

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

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

Please discard any compromise agreements that relate to redundancy and include all others, as requested. Thank you for confirming that none of the agreements have included gagging clauses related to FOI / DPA requests. However, your answer states that the information is not held centrally. This is unusual. Please make every effort to gather the information that is held and to satisfy this request. I believe I'm correct in saying that 'information not held centrally' is not a satisfactory explanation for the refusal to satisfy reasonable requests. There is no exemption in force here; the information is held and it is your public duty and in the spirit of the FOI Act to provide it. May I repeat my request to you? Many 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

Worcestershire Hub \(Please Do Not Reply\),

Thank you for contacting the Worcestershire Hub. Your enquiry has been logged and we will respond to you within 1 working day. Your unique reference number relating to this request is 3737677. Please do not reply to this email.

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Worcestershire Hub \(Malvern\), Malvern Hills District Council

Dear Paul

Thank you for contacting the Worcestershire Hub regarding your freedom of
information query.

I am passing your e-mail through to our Freedom of Information Officer who
will contact you directly. The reference number for your enquiry is
SR3737677.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us
again.

We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of service we offer
to our customers. We would appreciate it if you could spare a few minutes
of your time to give us feedback about your recent experience when
contacting the Worcestershire Hub. Tell us what you think by completing
our short customer satisfaction survey:
[1]http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/researc...

Regards,
Jane Hambrey
Customer Service Advisor
Worcestershire Hub

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Gill Farrell, Malvern Hills District Council

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Dear Mr Cardin

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Information request concerning
Compromise Agreements

I refer to your e-mail dated 8 January 2011 and received on 10 January
2011 requesting an internal review of our decision regarding the above
request.

Your request has been referred to Nigel Snape, the Council's Head of Legal
and Governance.

In accordance with the Information Commissioners guidance, we aim to deal
with any request that we may receive for an internal review within 20
working days of receiving the request. This means we will respond to you
by Friday 4 February 2011 at the very latest. We will keep you informed if
for any reason we are unable to keep to this deadline.

Yours sincerely
Gill Farrell
Information & Risk Management Officer
Tel 01684 862154
email: [email address]
Why not visit our website at [1]www.malvernhills.gov.uk
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Gill Farrell, Malvern Hills District Council

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Dear Mr Cardin

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request for information concerning
Compromise Agreements

I refer to your e mail dated 8 January 2011 requesting an internal review
of our decision regarding the above request.

Having carried out my investigation, I can confirm that we do hold
information falling within the description specified in your request. As
stated in our response dated 6 January 2011, the information is not held
centrally. However, we have been able to search our records and have
collated the information for you.

The figures are as follows:-

+--------------------------------------+
| 1998-1999 | 1 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 1999-2000 | 1 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2000-2001 | 0 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2001-2002 | 0 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2002-2003 | 0 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2003-2004 | 0 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2004-2005 | 0 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2005-2006 | 0 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2006-2007 | 1 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2007-2008 | 1 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2008-2009 | 4 |
| | |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2009-2010 | 0 |
|-----------------------+--------------|
| 2010-2011 | 1 |
+--------------------------------------+

I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that this Council does
make every effort to satisfy every request for information that it
receives and in the spirit of Freedom of Information, provides most of the
information that is requested, free of any charge.

I trust that you are satisfied with my response to your request. However,
should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Nigel Snape
Head of Legal & Governance
Malvern Hills District Council
Email:[email address]
Tel. 01684 862213
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Dear Gill Farrell,

Thanks very much for the time you've devoted to this request. It's really appreciated,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Malvern Hills District Council were one of the quickest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking only 3 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.

Malvern Hills District Council helpfully commented on the issue of FOI / DP related gagging clauses: "none of the compromise agreements we have entered into have sought to remove or restrict a person's rights to make FOI or subject access requests and we are doubtful a compromise agreement would be effective in that respect 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.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Update here on Freedom of Information gagging clauses, including the opinion of senior counsel, Hugh Tomlinson QC:

http://easyvirtualassistance.wordpress.c...