Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Southend on Sea Borough Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Southend on Sea Borough Council,

Please supply Annual totals for the followig:

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 requests at Southend on Sea Borough Council, Southend on Sea Borough Council

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FOI requests at Southend on Sea Borough Council, Southend on Sea Borough Council

Dear Paul

Thank you for your e-mail received on 7th January 2011 concerning your for Freedom of Information request.

Your enquiry has been passed to Freedom of nformation Team for reply by a member of staff who specialises in this subject. Your reference number for this matter is 222305.

They will aim to send you a full reply within a maximum of 5 working days.

If there are reasons why your particular enquiry will take longer to answer, they will let you know.

If in the meantime you have any further enquiries, please get in touch using the contact details below.

You might also like to take a look at our website www.southend.gov.uk where you will find a growing range of web based services as well as lots of other useful information.

Many Thanks

Stephanie

Customer Service Centre
Southend on Sea Borough Council
Civic Centre
Victoria Avenue
Southend-on-Sea
Essex SS2 6EP

Email: [Southend on Sea Borough Council request email]
Web: www.southend.gov.uk
Telephone: 01702 215000

Do It Online...
Apply for it; Book it; Find it; Pay it; Report it; Say it; View it

As part of the Council's drive towards delivering excellence you may be contacted to take part in a Customer Satisfaction survey.

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Sue Richards, Southend on Sea Borough Council

1 Attachment

Hi Paul

Please find attached herewith response to your Freedom of Information
request dated 10th January 2011.

Regards
Sue

<<Freedom of Information - Response - 27.1.11.doc>>
Sue Richards
HR Officer
Workforce Information & Analysis
HR & Communications
Floor 8
Civic Centre
SS2 6ER

Tel: 01702 215266
Email: [email address]

Safe - clean - healthy - prosperous - excellent - Creating a better
Southend

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Southend on Sea Borough Council were one of the quicker respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 19 working 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