Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Blaby 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 Blaby District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

Since the inception of Blaby District Council, or as far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number of current employees or ex-employees of Blaby District 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 who have agreed, following the matter being raised and made conditional as part of a compromise agreement drawn up by Blaby District Council's legal team, to 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 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

Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

1 Attachment

FOI-03-11

Dear Mr Cardin

I acknowledge receipt of your FOI request. I can confirm that it is being
handled under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, 2000.

Your request was received on the 4^th January 2011 and will therefore be
actioned from the 5^th January 2011. A response will be sent by Blaby
District Council by the 1^st February 2011.

Should you have any queries or questions please contact me, and quote the
above reference number, alternatively information can be found on the
Information Commissioner's website www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Joanne Devlin

Legal & Information Management Officer

Blaby District Council

[1][email address]

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Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

1 Attachment

FOI-03-11

Dear Mr Cardin

Please find attached a response to your Freedom of Information Request.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Devlin
Legal & Information Management Officer
Blaby District Council
[email address]

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Dear Freedom of Information Mailbox,

Thanks very much for your response.

I'd argue that annual total figures for the number of compromise agreements reached does not constitute 'personal data' and would ask that you further break down the figures into annual totals, then re-advise.

To place this request into a wider context, I have made the same approach to ALL English councils. To date, 113 have responded quickly, positively and in full.

In my opinion (and that of the above councils) there is no appreciable risk of identifying individuals by going through this process.

Before going to the internal review stage, I'd kindly request that you re-consider and break the figures down annually, into calendar year format e.g. 2005 - 1; 2006 - 2; 2007 - 0; etc. and re-advise,

many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

1 Attachment

FOI-03-11

Dear Mr Cardin

Further to your email below I would advise you that I am looking into your
request and I will respond to you by the 18^th February 2011.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Devlin

Legal & Information Management Officer

Blaby District Council

[1][email address]

Visit Our Website: [2]www.blaby.gov.uk

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Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

2 Attachments

FOI-03-11

Dear Mr Cardin

Further to your emails below please find attached my response.

Yours sincerely

Joanne Devlin

Legal & Information Management Officer

Blaby District Council

[1][email address]

Visit Our Website: [2]www.blaby.gov.uk

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Dear Blaby District Council,

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

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

Thanks for your response. I'm disappointed that you are unwilling to provide the information. I understand your position, however my research has moved on and there are now 220 of your LGA colleagues who have responded positively and in full. Many of these positively responding local authorities are small and have similar operational concerns regarding privacy and the risks attached to releasing "personal data" or identifying individuals.

I maintain that the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the public interest in not releasing it. Also that the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the risk of identifying individuals or putting personal data at risk.

I have requested Annual totals - nothing more. It appears that hundreds of your colleagues who responded positively were in agreement with my position.

I do attempt to avoid internal reviews wherever possible, but it has proved unavoidable on this occasion. Please take all the information I have supplied into account when conducting the review.

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

Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

2 Attachments

FOI-03-11

Dear Mr Cardin

Freedom of Information Request Review

Please find attached a response to your appeal.

Yours sincerely

Judith Warner

Legal Services Manager & Monitoring Officer

Blaby District Council

[email address]

Visit Our Website: [1]www.blaby.gov.uk

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.blaby.gov.uk/
http://www.blaby.gov.uk/

Dear Freedom of Information Mailbox,

Thanks very much for your response and for the time you have devoted to this request.

However, please could you address the second part of the original request i.e.

"In addition to this, annual figures for the number of current
employees / ex-employees who have agreed, following the matter
being raised and made conditional as part of a compromise agreement
drawn up by Blaby District Council's legal team, to forgo their
right to approach the council in the future with Freedom of
Information and/or DPA Subject Access requests under the relevant
Acts."

many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Further to your email below, the response in Mrs Warner's letter dated
9th March, ' All agreements are confidential, and employees sign up to
not instituting or continuing with any complaint as part of their
agreement.', is this not the answer you require? If this is not correct
could you please clarify the question.

Yours sincerely

Kath Marsden
Administrative Officer
Legal Services
0116 2727678

Visit Our Website: www.blaby.gov.uk

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available at the time of your visit) within 10 working days
* To have any complaint dealt with promptly and in accordance with our
complaints procedures which can be found at: www.blaby.gov.uk

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Dear Freedom of Information Mailbox,

Thanks. The requirement not to breach confidentiality that you describe is standard and is imposed upon the employee and the employer as part of a 'full and final settlement'. This is a regular feature of compromise agreements.

The situation I am describing is different. Can you categorically confirm or deny the existence of a "gagging clause" - which would represent a mutual agreement NOT to exercise statutory rights, by refraining from making FOI / DPA requests in the future. This would be 'enforced' as part of the compromise agreement. From the hundreds of requests I've made to date, TWO councils have admitted to this.

Many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Freedom of Information Mailbox, Blaby District Council

1 Attachment

FOI-03-11 Review

Dear Mr Cardin

Blaby District Council uses a standard Compromise Agreement which I
confirm does not have a `gagging clause'

Yours sincerely

Judith Warner

Legal Services Manager & Monitoring Officer

Blaby District Council

[email address]

Visit Our Website: [1]www.blaby.gov.uk

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Blaby District Council were one of the slowest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 48 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