Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Rossendale 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 Rossendale 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

Carolyn Sharples, Rossendale Borough Council

I acknowledge receipt of your email dated 06 01 2011. Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me.

Please remember to quote reference number FOI/921above in any future communications.

Regards

Carolyn

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J Cook, Rossendale Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin

Response to Information Requested under the Freedom of Information
Act

With reference to your email dated 6th January 2011 please see the
attached letter which forms the complete response of Rossendale
Borough Council.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to
contact me. Please quote reference number FOI/921 in any future
communications. If you require a review of this request, please
follow the procedure outlined within the attached letter.

I would be grateful if you could confirm that you have received
this response.

Regards

Jenni Cook Committee Officer

Jennifer Cook, Rossendale Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin

Response to Information Requested under the Freedom of Information Act

With reference to your email dated 6^th January 2011 please see the
attached letter which forms the complete response of Rossendale Borough
Council.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me.
Please quote reference number FOI/921 in any future communications.

I would be grateful if you could confirm that you have received this
response.

If you require a review of this request, please follow the procedure
outlined within the attached letter.

Regards

Jenni Cook

Committee Officer

Committee and Member Services

Rossendale Borough Council

The Business Centre, Newchurch Road, Bacup, OL13 0BB

Tel) 01706 252424

Email) [1][email address]

For Freedom of Information Requests please contact me at
[2][Rossendale Borough Council request email]

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References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[Rossendale Borough Council request email]

Jennifer Cook, Rossendale Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin

Response to Information Requested under the Freedom of Information Act

With reference to your email dated 6^th January 2011 please see the
attached letter which forms the complete response of Rossendale Borough
Council.

If you have any queries about this request do not hesitate to contact me.
Please quote reference number FOI/921 in any future communications. If
you require a review of this request, please follow the procedure outlined
within the attached letter.

I would be grateful if you could confirm that you have received this
response.

Yours sincerely

Jenni Cook

Committee Officer

Committee and Member Services

Rossendale Borough Council

The Business Centre, Newchurch Road, Bacup, OL13 0BB

Tel) 01706 252424

Email) [1][email address]

For Freedom of Information Requests please contact me at
[Rossendale Borough Council request email]

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Rossendale Borough Council were one of the quickest 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