Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Redditch 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 Redditch 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

FOI RBC, Redditch Borough Council

Our Reference: 187

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your recent request for information.

Your request is being dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. We will respond by 4^th February 2011 at the
latest.

Regards

Julie Smout

Information Support Officer

Business Transformation Bromsgrove District & Redditch Borough Councils

Bromsgrove District Council
Redditch Borough Council

The Council House
Town Hall

Burcot Lane
Walter Stranz Square

Bromsgrove
Redditch

Worcestershire
Worcestershire

B60 1AA
B98 8AH

Tel: 01527 64252, ext 7612

Web: [1]www.bromsgrove.gov.uk Web:
[2]www.redditch.whub.org.uk

Email: [3][email address]

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/
http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/
2. http://www.redditch.whub.org.uk/
http://www.redditch.whub.org.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]

FOI RBC, Redditch Borough Council

Our Reference: 187

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request. I can now offer
you the following information for as far as Redditch Borough Council
records date back:

1. 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). None

2. 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. None

Please note that as a Borough Council, we do not have the responsibility
of education, this is a County function, and if you have not already done
so, please forward your request to:
[1]http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/com...
`

I hope this resolves your enquiry and that you are satisfied with the
response.

However, if you are dissatisfied with the way your request has been
handled, you have the right to request an internal review.

If you are still dissatisfied following a review by the Council, you have
the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. You can contact the
Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Telephone 01625 545 700

www.ico.gov.uk/

Regards

Julie Smout

Information Support Officer

Business Transformation Bromsgrove District & Redditch Borough Councils

Bromsgrove District Council
Redditch Borough Council

The Council House
Town Hall

Burcot Lane
Walter Stranz Square

Bromsgrove
Redditch

Worcestershire
Worcestershire

B60 1AA
B98 8AH

Tel: 01527 64252, ext 7612

Web: [2]www.bromsgrove.gov.uk Web:
[3]www.redditch.whub.org.uk

Email: [4][email address]

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/com...
http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/com...
2. http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/
http://www.bromsgrove.gov.uk/
3. http://www.redditch.whub.org.uk/
http://www.redditch.whub.org.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Redditch Borough Council were one of the quicker respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 16 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