Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Stockport 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 Stockport 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

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

Thank you for your request for information below which has been given
reference FOI 3675. Please quote this on any correspondence regarding your
request.

Stockport Council will respond to your request within 20 working days. If
there will be a charge for disbursements e.g. photocopying in order to
provide the information, we will inform you as soon as possible to see if
you wish to proceed; however such charges are usually waived if they
amount to less than £10.

Yours sincerely,

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

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FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin,

I am writing in response to your request for information below (Ref 3675).

Please find attached the information you requested.

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request you are
entitled to ask for an internal review. Any internal review will be
carried out by a senior member of staff who was not involved with your
original request. To ask for an internal review, contact
[1][email address] in the first instance.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of any internal review, you are
entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner. To do so, contact:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

01625 545 745

Yours sincerely,

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

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Dear FOI Officer,

Many thanks for your response and for the time you have devoted to this request.

Please could you exclude COT3 agreements, and also compromise agreements drawn up in the following circumstances?

1. Purely redundancy situations
2. Purely PILON (payment in lieu of notice) situations
3. TUPE situations
4. Equal pay claims

My purposes are research-based, and I am interested in viewing trends and movements, both nationally and regionally. I want to ensure that the figures produced are accurate, in both our interests,

many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

Thank you for your request for information below which has been given
reference FOI 3787. Please quote this on any correspondence regarding your
request.

Stockport Council will respond to your request within 20 working days. If
there will be a charge for disbursements e.g. photocopying in order to
provide the information, we will inform you as soon as possible to see if
you wish to proceed; however such charges are usually waived if they
amount to less than £10.

Yours sincerely,

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

show quoted sections

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Cardin,

I am writing in response to your request for information below (ref 3787).

Please find attached the information you requested. Please note that this
spreadsheet also amends the information previously provided to you in
response to your earlier request (ref 3787) which contained an error.
Please take this information as the amended response to reference 3675 and
the response to your new request ref 3787 (it is clear from the
spreadsheet which information relates to which request). We apologise for
any confusion this may have caused.

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request you are
entitled to ask for an internal review. Any internal review will be
carried out by a senior member of staff who was not involved with your
original request. To ask for an internal review, contact
[1][email address] in the first instance.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of any internal review, you are
entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner. To do so, contact:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

01625 545 745

Yours sincerely,

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

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Dear FOI Officer,

Thank you for your response.

Please state whether you have or don't have the information prior to 2008.

Also, please address the second question within the 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."

many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

Thank you for your email below (ref 3787).

The answer to the second question was provided on the spreadsheet sent to
you in response to your original request - the answer is zero for the
years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

In relation to your question about pre-2008 information, as you may be
aware, under section 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA),
public authorities such as Stockport Council are not obliged to comply
with requests for information if they estimate that the cost of complying
with the request would exceed the `appropriate limit'. The Freedom of
Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations
2004 set an `appropriate limit' of £450 for public authorities outside
Central Government, which equates to 18 hours' work at a statutory rate of
£25 per hour. When estimating whether or not a request is likely to
exceed this limit, public authorities can take into account the time it
would take to:

· Determine if the information is held; then

· Locate it;

· Retrieve it; and

· Extract it from wherever it is held.

We estimate that determining whether we hold the relevant information then
locating, retrieving and extracting it would exceed this limit. The
Council is unable to confirm if it holds complete information prior to
2008 within this limit. Prior to 2008, this information was not held
centrally as it is now. Historic information is held in files which are in
storage and are not sorted in a particular order which would enable us to
easily locate the files relevant to this request; hundreds of individual
files would have to be located, retrieved and searched through in order to
provide the information you have requested for the earlier years. For this
reason, we are unable to provide information prior to 2008.

Yours sincerely,

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Stockport Borough Council were one of the slower respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 39 working days (19 days over 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