Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to West Lindsey 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 West Lindsey 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

West Lindsey District Council

09 January 2011 11:10:54PM

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your email. This response is your acknowledgement
and we will answer your email in full within 8 working days

Thank you

Customer Services Team

FOI, West Lindsey District Council

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Redwood, Emma, West Lindsey District Council

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Dear Mr Cardin

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST No. 1070

Your request for information has now been considered and the information
requested is attached;

I hope this is the information you are seeking. If you require any further
information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the Council.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact
the Director of Strategy & Regeneration, West Lindsey District Council,
Guildhall, Marshall's Yard, Gainsborough, Lincs, DN21 2NA.

Kind regards

Emma Redwood

Human Resources Officer

01427 676591

West Lindsey District Council

Guildhall, Marshalls Yard, Gainsborough, Lincs, DN21 2NA

www.west-lindsey.gov.uk

show quoted sections

*** DISCLAIMER **** The information transmitted is intended only for the
person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential
and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or
other use, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by
persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If
you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the
material from your computer. Any correspondence with the sender will be
subject to automatic monitoring.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

West Lindsey District Council were one of the quickest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 7 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 - although 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