Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Surrey County 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 Surrey County 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

FOI, Surrey County Council

11/01/11

Dear Mr Cardin
RE: YOUR REQUEST REF NO. 5516 UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

Thank you for your request for information received on the 10 January
2011. Your request reference is as above.

We will respond to your request promptly and in any event within 20
working days of the date of receipt of your request. If you wish to
contact me to discuss the progress of your request, please use the contact
details given below and quote the reference number given above.

Yours sincerely

Clare Mackay
____________________

Legal Support Senior Assistant
Legal and Democratic Services
Surrey County Council
Rm 150, County Hall
Penrhyn Road
Kingston
KT1 2DN

Tel: 020 8541 9088
Fax: 020 8541 9115
Email: [Surrey County Council request email]

Paul Cardin FOI requests at Surrey
<[FOI #57271 email]> To County Council
<[Surrey County Council request email]>
07/01/11 22:48 cc
Freedom of Information
Subject request - Total Annual
Figures for Compromise
Agreements, etc.

Dear Surrey County 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

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

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

Wendy Penfold, Surrey County Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

RE: YOUR REQUEST 5516 UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

We have considered your request which was for information on compromise
agreements. I now enclose the following information:

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).

Excluding Surrey school staff the number of completed compromise
agreements which directly related to the resolving of dispute(s) /
grievances / internal and external investigation(s) / whistleblowing
incident(s) were :

+-----------------+
| Period | Number |
|--------+--------|
| 2007 | 5 |
|--------+--------|
| 2008 | 14 |
|--------+--------|
| 2009 | 15 |
|--------+--------|
| 2010 | 5 |
+-----------------+

Information for staff in schools is not held centrally. You may be able to
get information on this by contacting the schools directly. School
contact details are available via the schools database on our external
website (www.surreycc.gov.uk). Select `Learning' from the menu on the left
of the screen, then select `Schools' for the list that appears. A link to
the Directory of Surrey Schools is available from the menu that appears.
If you do not have access to the internet at home, you may be able to use
facilities at your local public library, or you can request a paper copy
by contacting the address below.

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.

Of the compromise agreements shown above, none require the member of staff
to forgo rights under Data Protection or Freedom of Information.

We supply this information based on your original request. Please do not
hesitate to contact me at the above address if you have any queries
regarding the information enclosed. Remember to quote the reference
number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the handling of your request for information and
wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision, in the first
instance you should contact the County Council, quoting your request
number given above, at:

Freedom of Information Officer
Surrey County Council
Room 134
County Hall
Penhryn Road
Kingston Upon Thames
Surrey
KT1 2DN
[Surrey County Council request email]

If you are not satisfied by the County Council's response to your
complaint, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for
a decision. The Information Commissioner will normally expect you to have
exhausted our complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely,

Wendy Penfold
HR Management Information Advisor
Tel: 020 8541 7118
Email Internal: Wendy Penfold/COR/SCC
External: [email address]

show quoted sections

Dear Wendy Penfold,

Many thanks for your response. As some of the annual figures declared are a little 'on the high side' I'm not sure that you have received an email I sent on 5th February which was sent in good faith, and done in order to reduce the scope of the initial request. An excerpt reads as follows:

"......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......."

I'd be very grateful if, now that you have reached a manageable number, you could exclude the areas quoted above and re-advise.

Many thanks in advance,

yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Wendy Penfold, Surrey County Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

Unfortunately I had not seen your further email and therefore the response
that you have received is related to your initial request.

Your new request reference is as above.

We will respond to your request promptly and in any event within 20
working days of the date of receipt of your request. If you wish to
contact me to discuss the progress of your request, please use the contact
details given below and quote the reference number given above.

Yours sincerely,

Wendy Penfold
HR Management Information Advisor
Tel: 020 8541 7118
Email Internal: Wendy Penfold/COR/SCC
External: [email address]

Paul Cardin To Wendy Penfold
<[FOI #57271 email]> <[email address]>
cc
07/02/11 20:36 Subject Re: Freedom of Information
request 5516

Dear Wendy Penfold,

Many thanks for your response. As some of the annual figures
declared are a little 'on the high side' I'm not sure that you have
received an email I sent on 5th February which was sent in good
faith, and done in order to reduce the scope of the initial
request. An excerpt reads as follows:

"......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......."

I'd be very grateful if, now that you have reached a manageable
number, you could exclude the areas quoted above and re-advise.

Many thanks in advance,

yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

show quoted sections

Dear Wendy Penfold,

Thanks for the response. I don't think it's correct to describe my
second request as 'new'.

It was a reduction in the scope of the query, done in good faith,
and to assist, but it seems you've now availed yourself of another
20 working days' grace.

Do you do this by default? Without taking time to consider the
circumstances of a request, or how such a response will be received
at the other end? It gave me a distinct 'sinking feeling' when
I realised you'd done it.

It's not very nice - especially when I've tried to be as amenable
and reasonable as possible. A bit like a slap across the chops with a wet kipper.

All the same, I look forward to hearing from you,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Wendy Penfold, Surrey County Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

RE: YOUR REQUEST 5688 UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

We have considered your request which was for a revision to the previous
information on compromise agreements. I now enclose the following
information:

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.

We have reviewed the information previously provided to you in accordance
with the changes you have requested. The revised table appears below.

Excluding Surrey school staff the number of completed compromise
agreements which directly related to the resolving of dispute(s) /
grievances / internal and external investigation(s) / whistleblowing
incident(s) were :

+-----------------+
| Period | Number |
|--------+--------|
| 2007 | 1 |
|--------+--------|
| 2008 | 9 |
|--------+--------|
| 2009 | 9 |
|--------+--------|
| 2010 | 4 |
+-----------------+

Information for staff in schools is not held centrally. You may be able to
get information on this by contacting the schools directly. School
contact details are available via the schools database on our external
website (www.surreycc.gov.uk). Select `Learning' from the menu on the left
of the screen, then select `Schools' for the list that appears. A link to
the Directory of Surrey Schools is available from the menu that appears.
If you do not have access to the internet at home, you may be able to use
facilities at your local public library, or you can request a paper copy
by contacting the address below.

We supply this information based on your revisedl request. Please do not
hesitate to contact me at the above address if you have any queries
regarding the information enclosed. Remember to quote the reference
number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the handling of your request for information and
wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision, in the first
instance you should contact the County Council, quoting your request
number given above, at:

Freedom of Information Officer
Surrey County Council
Room 134
County Hall
Penhryn Road
Kingston Upon Thames
Surrey
KT1 2DN
[Surrey County Council request email]

If you are not satisfied by the County Council's response to your
complaint, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner for
a decision. The Information Commissioner will normally expect you to have
exhausted our complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be
contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Yours sincerely,

Wendy Penfold
HR Management Information Advisor
Tel: 020 8541 7118
Email Internal: Wendy Penfold/COR/SCC
External: [email address]

show quoted sections

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Surrey County Council were one of the slowest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 41 working days (over twice 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