Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

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

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Reading Borough Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Reading 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

Dear Reading Borough Council,

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 faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Dear Reading Borough Council,

I made my first approach to you on 6th January.

In good faith, after you ran overdue, I reduced the scope of the initial request on 4th February.

However, I've heard nothing. Since 1st January 2011, I have received full and positive responses to an identical request for 252 English councils - your LGA colleagues.

You have now run long overdue. Please advise,

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Roddy, Susan, Reading Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Thank you for your recent email. I apologise for the delay in your
response. I have chased the appropriate officer who is dealing with
this and they will send you a reply as soon as possible. Many thanks
for your patience.

Yours sincerely

Sue Roddy
Support Services

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Dear Roddy, Susan,

Many thanks. Who is the appropriate officer in this case please?

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Roddy, Susan, Reading Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

I can confirm the officer dealing with this request is Anne Burton, Head
of HR, who is contactable on [email address]

Regards

Sue Roddy
Support Services
Third Floor, Fountain House
Ext 72768

show quoted sections

Alex Skene left an annotation ()

The email address provided is:

anne.burton [at] reading.gov.uk

Kind regards
Alex - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Email sent tonight:

Dear Ms Burton,

I have been conducting FOI research of all English Councils (above a certain size) since 1st January 2011 – in the area of compromise agreements and ‘gagging clauses’.

It was with some alarm I found that Reading Council took a total of 44 working days to forward a response to my request, sent on 6th January 2011. When viewed in the wider context, which is that 257 councils have responded positively and in full, I find the delay attached to this response very unusual. When your colleague Sue Roddy did respond, she apologised but gave no actual reason for the delay and didn’t name the officer responsible.

Can I kindly request that you explain the situation and prioritise this request – given the very poor reception it has received to date?

Many thanks,

Paul Cardin

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Partial response received from Reading Borough Council:

2006 - 2
2007 - 0
2008 - 6
2009 - 2
2010 - 3

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Reading Borough Council were one of the slowest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 45 working days (over twice the statutory period) 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