Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Sutton 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 successful.

Dear Sutton Borough 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

Freedom Of Information, Sutton Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST - REF NO - 2764
(please quote in correspondence)

I acknowledge your request for information received on Monday 10 January
2011 relating to total annual figures for compromise agreements.

Your request is being considered and, if it is held, you will receive the
information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as
defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information
not being exempt or containing a reference to a third party.

If appropriate, the information may be provided in paper copy, normal font
size. If you require alternative formats, e.g. language, audio, large
print, etc. then please let me know.

For your information, the Act defines a number of exemptions which may
prevent release of the information you have requested. There will be an
assessment and if any of the exemption categories apply then the
information will not be released. You will be informed if this is the
case, including your rights of appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then
they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to
release the information to you. You will be informed if this is the case.

A fee may be payable for this information. This will be considered and you
will be informed if a fee is payable. In this event the fee must be paid
before the information is processed and released. The 20 working day time
limit for responses is suspended until receipt of the payment.

Yours sincerely

FOI Admin Officer

London Borough of Sutton

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Freedom Of Information, Sutton Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

I regret to inform you we are currently experiencing some delays with
collating the information you have requested under FOI reference 2764.

I politely request an extension to our deadline till Friday 18 February
2011. We will endeavour to provide the information by this date, if not
before.

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours Sincerely

FOI Admin Officer

London Borough of Sutton

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Dear Freedom Of Information,

Thanks for your response and for updating me with progress.

In the interests of making your task more manageable, please reduce the period covered to the years between 2005 and 2010 i.e. the last six years.

Also, please exclude COT3 agreements, and also compromise agreements drawn up in the following circumstances:

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

This is done in good faith. Please do not (like certain other councils) use this as an opportunity to state that the request has been 'substantially altered' - in an effort to secure a further 20 working day period of grace! Yes, it does happen, sadly.

Thanks again for the update, and also, many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Sutton Borough Council,

Hi. Just wondering whether you've forgotten me? I'm still waiting and you're way overdue the extended deadline advised above.

Please don't forget the second part of 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 faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Blackwell Matthew, Sutton Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to your freedom of information request.

In accordance with section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we are unable to provide you with the information you have requested because it is not held by the Local Authority.

If you are dissatisfied with our explanation as to why we are unable to provide the information requested, or you are unhappy with the way in which your request has been handled you have the right to ask for an internal review. Please notify us in writing as soon as possible and the grounds upon which you feel the appeal is justified. Internal review requests should be addressed to: Corporate Customer Care Team, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 1EA or emailed to [Sutton Borough Council request email]

We will respond to you hopefully within 20 working days of receiving your request, if it is going to take longer we will let you know. At the end of the appeal process if you remain unhappy you may refer to the Information Commissioner. Further guidance is available from their website www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Legal Services
London Borough of Sutton

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Dear Blackwell Matthew,

Please can you tell me who DOES hold this information? Is there another body that holds such data?

Presumably you will have had employees who have signed compromise agreements, and these may now be ex-employees. You are the first council of the 345 asked to respond with this answer.

I believe I have also been misinformed - on 4th February 2011 you told me you were collating the information and requested a deadline (which was missed).

What data were you working with, which caused you to miss the deadline, if all the time, you didn't actually HOLD IT?

I will not request an internal review just yet because if you don't hold the information, what is there to review???!!

Please expand upon your answer and then perhaps I can go away satisfied. To date, since 1st January 2011, 250 of your LGA colleagues have provided full and positive responses,

many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Sutton Borough Council,

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

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

Please take into account all the information I have provided. To date, since 1st January 269 English councils have responded positively and in full to an identical request.

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

Freedom Of Information, Sutton Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

Thank you for your email received today. Please accept this email as
formal acknowledgement of your request for an internal review into the
handling of your recent Freedom of Information (`FoI') request for
information under our ref ID FoI 2764.

The Corporate Customer Care team will arrange for a review of the handling
of your original request. We hope to complete this review within 20
working days from the date of your email below. This is in accordance with
the council's complaints procedure, and in line with ICO guidance.

If you remain unhappy following the outcome of the appeal you may then
refer to the Information Commissioner' Office, details below:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 745
[1]www.ico.gov.uk

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact me by email using
the FoI inbox email (the address of this email) or if by letter, using me
details below.

Yours sincerely,

Sandria Lewindon
(Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday mornings)
Corporate Customer Care - Freedom of Information (Internal Reviews)
Policy and Customer Services Division
Chief Executive's Group
London Borough of Sutton
Civic Offices
St Nicholas Way, SUTTON SM1 1EA

'l: 020 8770 5433

A [2]http://www.sutton.gov.uk

P Before you print this, please think about the environment - do you
really need a hard copy?

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Freedom Of Information, Sutton Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

I am writing to inform you that we are experiencing delays with conducting
your internal appeal. Unfortunately the officer involved in this case has
been absent from the office on a number of occasions in the last month.
This officer is due back on Monday 18 April 2011. We endeavour to
investigate this review further next week and have a full response to you
by 29 April 2011.

I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Yours Sincerely

Natalie

Natalie Morgan

Corporate Customer Care Officer

Policy and Customer Services Division

Chief Executive's Group

London Borough of Sutton

Civic Offices

St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA

Tel: 020 8770 6380

FAX: 020 8770 5404

[1]www.sutton.gov.uk

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Morgan Natalie, Sutton Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

I can confirm we have now completed our internal review of your request
for information under our reference 2764.

Your original request was received on 10 January 2011 and acknowledged on
the same day. We requested an extension for the deadline as the officer
who would normally deal with such request was away from the office. This
was accepted and changed to 18 February.

We were unable to meet this and you sent an email chasing the response on
1 March 2011. We sent a response to you on 4 March stating that the
information you requested was not held by the London Borough of Sutton.

You requested an internal review of our handling of this request on 15
March.

Firstly I would like to apologise for the length of time it took to
respond to your request. During my investigation I have learnt that the
main reason for this delay and also why you were informed that we did not
hold the information requested is due to the fact that the person who
deals with this area of work was off sick when the original request was
received and also during the weeks when this information was chased. The
information was therefore collated in their absence. Unfortunately the
person who collated the information was not aware that the Local Authority
actually held this information. This experienced person on this matter
has since returned to work and was able to seek and confirm the below
information:

2001 = 1,

2002 = 1,

2003 = 3,

2004 = 5,

2005 = 6,

2006 = 11,

2007 = 5,

2008 = 11,

2009 = 4,

2010 = 8,

2011 = 0 (at present)

Regarding the query about forgoing rights to approach LBS under the FOIA
or DPA - I can confirm that this is not stipulated in any of the
compromise agreements.

I trust this now answers your request and I sincerely apologise for any
inconvenience this may have caused you.

If you have any further questions on the information we have provided
please forward them to [1][Sutton Borough Council request email]

Yours Sincerely

Natalie

Natalie Morgan

Corporate Customer Care Officer

Policy and Customer Services Division

Chief Executive's Group

London Borough of Sutton

Civic Offices

St Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA

Tel: 020 8770 6380

FAX: 020 8770 5404

[2]www.sutton.gov.uk

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Dear Morgan Natalie,

Thanks for the full response, even though it took an internal review and 80 working days to complete.

You are the 285th (of 345 councils asked) to respond positively and in full,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin