Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Tamworth 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 Tamworth 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, Tamworth Borough Council

1 Attachment

Please find attached an acknowledgement letter for your recent Freedom of
Information request.

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Scanned by iCritical.

Bolton, Derek, Tamworth Borough Council

2 Attachments

Our Ref: FOI0796/DB/02

Please ask for: Derek Bolton

Direct dial: 01827 709 587

E-mail: [email address]

Paul Cardin

Whatdotheyknow.com

27^th January 2011

Dear Mr Cardin

Freedom of Information Act - No Information Found

Thank you for your email that we received 09^th January 2011 where you
requested information regarding compromise agreements.

I am writing to advise you that, following a search of our paper and
electronic records, I have established that the information you requested
is not held by this Council.

The reason for this is that the council has no matches in relation to the
criteria you specify regarding your request.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your
original letter and should be addressed to:

The Corporate Information Security Manager,

Tamworth Borough Council,

Marmion House,

Lichfield Street,

Tamworth,

B79 7BZ

Yours Sincerely

Derek Bolton

Corporate Information Security Manager

Tel: 01827 709 587

Fax: 01827 709 590

Email: [1][email address]

Visit us at: [2]www.tamworth.gov.uk

ICT Service Desk is open:-

Mon to Fri 8am - 6.15pm Sat 8.30am - 12.30pm

"ICT Services - Accredited to ISO20000 and ISO27001 Standards"

Marmion House

Lichfield Street

Tamworth

B79 7BZ

References

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1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.tamworth.gov.uk/

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Tamworth Borough 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