Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Oadby and Wigston 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 Oadby & Wigston Borough Council,

Please supply Annual totals for the following:

As far as records go back, the annual figures for the total
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

E_FOI, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Mrs Anne Court, Freedom of Information Officer and Head of Legal and
Licensing at Oadby and Wigston Borough Council acknowledges receipt of
your Freedom of Information Request and will respond to you in full in 20
working days.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact
her on (0116) 257 2602 or e-mail [Oadby & Wigston Borough Council request email] or
[email address]

Best wishes
Debbie Watson

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E_FOI, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Further to your recent Freedom of Information request, Mrs Anne Court,
Freedom of Information Officer and Head of Legal and Licensing at Oadby
and Wigston Borough Council has asked me to let you have the following
information:

1) with reference to paragraph 1 and the signing of compromise agreements,
the following figures apply:
2006-2
2007-0
2008-0
2009-0
2010-1

2) With reference to paragraph 2 and employees (current and former)
forgoing their rights to make an FOI or DP request, there have been no
such matters raised and made conditional as part of a compromise
agreement.

If you are dissatisfied with the way your request has been handled, please
write giving details to:
Mark Hall, Chief Executive, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, Station
Road, Wigston, Leicestershire. LE18 2DR.

Alternatively, you can write to:
Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire. SL0 5AF.
Yours sincerely
Debbie Watson
On behalf of Mrs Anne Court, Head of Legal and Licensing and Freedom of
Information Officer
Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, Station Road, Wigston, Leicestershire.
LE18 2DR
Telephone: (0116) 257 2602
E-mail: [Oadby & Wigston Borough Council request email] or [email address]

DISCLAIMER

This electronic message and any files attached or transmitted with it
contain information which may be privileged, confidential and protected in
law. The information is intended for the use of the individual or entity
named on this message only. If you are not the intended recipient you must
not disseminate, copy, distribute, disclose, use in any other way or take
any action in reliance upon the information contained therein. If you have
received this electronic message in error, please notify us by telephone
on 0116 2888961 or e-mail immediately and then delete the e-mail together
with any attachments from your system.

Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily represent those views of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council
or any of its individual departments. Neither do any of the contents in
this electronic message and its attachments amount to a contractual or
legal commitment on the part of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council.

Activity and use of the Oadby & Wigston Borough Council e-mail system is
not private and may be monitored to secure its effective operation and for
other lawful business purposes. Although we take reasonable precautions to
ensure our emails and attachments are virus free, we cannot accept
responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email
or attachments.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Oadby & Wigston Borough Council were one of the quicker respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 14 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