Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Stratford on Avon 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 Stratford on Avon District 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 - 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

Info, Stratford on Avon District Council

Thank you for your email.

It has now been recorded and is being passed to the service to assist with
your enquiry.

You should expect to have a response within the next 2 days, and we aim to
resolve all email queries within 15 days, or to notify you of when you can
expect to receive a complete response.

We take all comments seriously to help improve our service.

Thank you

Customer Services Centre
Stratford on Avon District Council, Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6HX
Switchboard +44 (0)1789 267575, email [1][Stratford on Avon District Council request email], web
[2]www.stratford.gov.uk

show quoted sections

This e-mail is confidential and may contain legally privileged
information. You should not disclose its contents to any other person. If
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

Whilst the Council has taken every reasonable precaution to minimise the
risk of computer software viruses, it cannot accept liability for any
damage which you may sustain as a result of such viruses. You should carry
out your own virus checks before opening the e-mail (and/or any
attachments).

Unless expressly stated otherwise, the contents of this e-mail represent
only the views of the sender and do not impose any legal obligation upon
the Council or commit the Council to any course of action.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[Stratford on Avon District Council request email]
2. http://www.stratford.gov.uk/
http://www.stratford.gov.uk/

Liz Griffiths, Stratford on Avon District Council

Dear Mr Cardin, thank you for your request for information which has been
forwarded to our Human Resources Department for their attention. Regards,
Liz

Liz Griffiths
Assistant to the Monitoring Officer

Stratford on Avon District Council, Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6HX
Switchboard +44 (0)1789 267575, Direct +44 (0)1789 260603
email: [1][email address], web: [2]www.stratford.gov.uk

show quoted sections

This e-mail is confidential and may contain legally privileged
information. You should not disclose its contents to any other person. If
you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

Whilst the Council has taken every reasonable precaution to minimise the
risk of computer software viruses, it cannot accept liability for any
damage which you may sustain as a result of such viruses. You should carry
out your own virus checks before opening the e-mail (and/or any
attachments).

Unless expressly stated otherwise, the contents of this e-mail represent
only the views of the sender and do not impose any legal obligation upon
the Council or commit the Council to any course of action.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.stratford.gov.uk/

Laila Doman, Stratford on Avon District Council

Dear Mr Cardin.

Many thanks for your request.

I can confirm only one such agreement which was made during 2007/08.

With kind regards,

Laila Doman
Human Resources Manager (Organisational Development)

Stratford on Avon District Council, Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6HX
Switchboard +44 (0)1789 267575, Direct +44 (0)1789 260709
email [email address],web www.stratford.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear Laila Doman,

Thanks for your response. Please can you also confirm the second part of my query?

many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Laila Doman, Stratford on Avon District Council

Dear Mr Cardin

I can confirm that the one agreement does not place any restrictions in
relation to either the DPA or FOI.

with kind regards

Laila

Laila Doman
Human Resources Manager (Organisational Development)

Stratford on Avon District Council, Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6HX
Switchboard +44 (0)1789 267575, Direct +44 (0)1789 260709
email [email address],web www.stratford.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Stratford on Avon Council were one of the quicker 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