Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

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

Customer Services, West Somerset District Council

Thank you for contacting West Somerset Council. Your email has been
received by our Customer Services Team who will process your enquiry or
forward it onto the relevant department for action.

If your enquiry relates to an urgent issue, you may like to contact us on
01643 703704 to discuss it further, or visit one of our offices at either
West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, or The Customer Centre,
Summerland Road, Minehead.

Further information can also be found on our website
www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk

Thank You

West Somerset Council would like your feedback on the service you have
received from us. Please could you take a couple of minutes to provide
your feedback by clicking here: [1]http://tinyurl.com/32ra9sl You
could win £100 of High Street Shopping vouchers!

Please Read:
1. This message is sent in confidence for the addressee only. The content
of the email and its attachments are considered proprietary information
and should not be disclosed to parties outside of the intended recipients
organisation.
2. This e-mail constitutes privileged information. If you are not the
intended recipient, you must not disclose, copy, circulate or in any other
way use or rely on this information, please delete it from your system and
notify the sender.
3. E-mails to and from the council are monitored in accordance with lawful
business practices.
4. The views expressed in this message are personal and must not be
considered to be the official views of West Somerset Council.
5. Whilst every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure that this
e-mail message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses the
company accepts no responsibility once an e-mail and any attachments are
sent.

[2]http://www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk

This message has been scanned for viruses

References

Visible links
1. http://tinyurl.com/32ra9sl
2. http://www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/

Customer Services, West Somerset District Council

Thank you for your email.
We have registered your freedom of information request (case 79784) and the relevant officer will respond within 20 working days.
Customer Services
WSC

show quoted sections

Customer Services, West Somerset District Council

Thank you for your email.
We have registered your freedom of information request (case 79784) and the relevant officer will respond within 20 working days.
Customer Services
WSC

show quoted sections

Alex Groves, West Somerset District Council

Dear Mr. Cardin,

Further to your recent Freedom of Information Request I can confirm the
number of compromise agreements signed and those who have signed a
disclaimer are as follows:

2010 - 0 0

2009 - 1 0

2008 - 0 0

2007 - 2 0

2006 - 1 0

If you are dissatisfied with the information provided, the Authority's
procedure provides for you to make a complaint, which will be dealt with
through the Council's normal complaints procedure. Should you not then be
satisfied with the outcome you have a right of appeal to the Information
Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Regards

Alex Groves
HR Officer
West Somerset Council
Tel: 01984 635327
[email address]
www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk

West Somerset Council would like your feedback on the service you have
received from us. Please could you take a couple of minutes to provide
your feedback by clicking here: [1]http://tinyurl.com/32ra9sl You
could win £100 of High Street Shopping vouchers!

Please Read:
1. This message is sent in confidence for the addressee only. The content
of the email and its attachments are considered proprietary information
and should not be disclosed to parties outside of the intended recipients
organisation.
2. This e-mail constitutes privileged information. If you are not the
intended recipient, you must not disclose, copy, circulate or in any other
way use or rely on this information, please delete it from your system and
notify the sender.
3. E-mails to and from the council are monitored in accordance with lawful
business practices.
4. The views expressed in this message are personal and must not be
considered to be the official views of West Somerset Council.
5. Whilst every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure that this
e-mail message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses the
company accepts no responsibility once an e-mail and any attachments are
sent.

[2]http://www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk

This message has been scanned for viruses

References

Visible links
1. http://tinyurl.com/32ra9sl
2. http://www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

West Somerset District Council were one of the quicker respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 13 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