Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to South Tyneside Metropolitan 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 partially successful.

Dear South Tyneside 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 - 1; 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

Marie Galloway, South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Your FOI Request was received by South Tyneside Council on 10th January 2011.

I now write to confirm that a decision about your request will be made within the next 20 working days, if not sooner from the date we received your request. Should there be any delays or discrepancies with your request then this will be communicated to you in due course.

If you have any further queries regarding this matter then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Marie Galloway
Records Management Team Leader
Records Management Team
South Tyneside Council
Town Hall and Civic Buildings
Westoe Road, South Shields
Tyne and Wear

Tel. 0191 424 6538
Email: [email address]

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Dear Marie Galloway,

By law, I believe the authority should have responded promptly and
by 1st February 2011.

Although I have received no response, to assist, and as an act of good faith, I would like to 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
5. Purely voluntary severance 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.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Marie Galloway, South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

I am not back in the office until Friday 4th February 2011. I will contact
you on my return.

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Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE33 2RL, Tel: 0191 427 1717, Website:
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Dear Marie Galloway,

I'm still waiting patiently for some contact and some movement on this request. Many thanks,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear South Tyneside Borough Council,

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

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

This request has now been responded to positively and in full by 251 English Councils since 1st January 2011. I'd appreciate it very much if while conducting this internal review, you took into account all the
questions and information I have supplied to date.

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

foi, South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin,

We apologise for the delay in dealing with your request and acknowledge your request for an internal review of our processes. Please accept my reassurance we are looking into how your request has been handled and our processes to ensure we can improve our service and provide an efficient response to requestors.

In this case we have been trying to identify if there were any central records relating to your request, this has taken sometime to establish and unfortunately we have identified there is no central record of such information.

Please now find attached the Councils response to your request.

Regards
Beverley

Beverley Shy
PG Dip InfoSec (Royal Holloway), A.Inst.ISP
Information Governance Lead Officer
Risk & Resilience
Business & Area Management Directorate
South Tyneside Council, Town Hall & Civic Offices (Breeze Building)
Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL

DDI: 0191 424 7079
E-Mail: [email address], [email address]
http://www.southtyneside.info

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Dear foi,

Thank you for the response.

With reference to the second part of my original request i.e.

"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 can you provide a categorical answer to this, whilst I consider whether to appeal to the ICO?

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

foi, South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

I will enquire with our legal services whether we have this but I suspect this will be the same that we would have to manually trawl through the records to find this as we do not collate this information on any system currently.

Regards
Beverley

Beverley Shy
PG Dip InfoSec (Royal Holloway), A.Inst.ISP
Information Governance Lead Officer
Risk & Resilience
Business & Area Management Directorate
South Tyneside Council, Town Hall & Civic Offices (Breeze Building)
Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL

DDI: 0191 424 7079
E-Mail: [email address], [email address]
http://www.southtyneside.info

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Dear foi,

Thanks. It may simply be a question of discovering what the policy is and ascertaining from this whether an FOI / DPA related "gagging clause" has or hasn't been used,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear foi,

Please can you reply and clarify whether this answer was a response to the original request or a response to the request for an internal review?

many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

foi, South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

Sorry to be unclear in my previous email, I acknowledge your request for an internal review received by us on the 5th march 2011 and this is now being passed for review by a member of our Internal review panel. The panel member/s will make a decision regarding your request for internal review within 20 working days from when we received your request for internal review.

I did take the opportunity with my last e-mail to also supply you with our response to your original request.

I have also requested further clarification on the point you requested on the 8th March which also referred to part 2 of your original response as below; I am awaiting clarification of this matter.

Dear foi,

Thanks. It may simply be a question of discovering what the policy
is and ascertaining from this whether an FOI / DPA related "gagging
clause" has or hasn't been used,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Regards
Beverley Shy

Beverley Shy
PG Dip InfoSec (Royal Holloway), A.Inst.ISP
Information Governance Lead Officer
Risk & Resilience
Business & Area Management Directorate
South Tyneside Council, Town Hall & Civic Offices (Breeze Building)
Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL

DDI: 0191 424 7079
E-Mail: [email address], [email address]
http://www.southtyneside.info

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foi, South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin,

We have now conducted the Internal Review of your Freedom of Information Request , please find the Councils response attached.

Regards
Beverley Shy

Beverley Shy
PG Dip InfoSec (Royal Holloway), A.Inst.ISP
Information Governance Lead Officer
Risk & Resilience
Business & Area Management
South Tyneside Council, Town Hall & Civic Offices (Breeze Building)
Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL

DDI: 0191 424 7079
E-Mail: [email address], [email address]
http://www.southtyneside.info

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

South Tyneside Borough Council went to internal review, before deciding against supplying most of the information.

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 less controversial areas of redundancy, severance or equal pay claims. Some councils have yet to answer this query - and to date, 65 working days have elapsed.