Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Teignbridge District Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Teignbridge 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

Freedom of Information, Teignbridge District Council

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Freedom of Information Officer
Teignbridge District Council
Forde House
Brunel Road
Newton Abbot
TQ12 4XX

Tel: 01626 361101
Email: [1][Teignbridge District Council request email]

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References

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1. mailto:[Teignbridge District Council request email]

Freedom of Information, Teignbridge District Council

1 Attachment

Please find attached my response to your request for information.

Freedom of Information Officer
Teignbridge District Council
Forde House
Brunel Road
Newton Abbot
TQ12 4XX

Tel: 01626 215159
Email: [1][Teignbridge District Council request email]

IMPORTANT: This document is strictly confidential and is intended only for
use by the addressee.
If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying,
distribution or other action taken in reliance of the information
contained in this e-mail is strictly prohibited.
Any views expressed by the sender of this message are not necessarily
those of the Teignbridge District Council.
If you have received this transmission in error, please use the reply
function to tell us and then permanently delete what you have received.
Please note: Incoming and outgoing e-mail messages are routinely monitored
for compliance with our policy on the use of electronic communications.
Teignbridge District Council enforces a corporate wide anti-virus policy,
however the Council does not accept any liability in respect of damage
caused by any virus that is not detected.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[Teignbridge District Council request email]

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Teignbridge District Council were one of the quicker respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 18 working 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