Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Wiltshire Council

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Dear Wiltshire 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

Crawford, Lesley, Wiltshire Council

Link: [1]File-List

Dear Mr Paul Cardin

Freedom of Information Request - RFI 2852

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received today, 10^th
January 2011.

(On 01 April 2009 Wiltshire County Council, Kennet, North Wiltshire,
Salisbury and West Wiltshire District Councils formed a unitary authority.
Your request is therefore being processed by Wiltshire Council.)

Your request is being considered and if the information 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.

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information, I will write with a fees notice to advise you how much the
council will charge to respond to your request.

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ensure that we provide you with the information you require.

Please note that some information you have requested may not be provided
to you; this will only be information that can be withheld by law. In most
cases the reasons will be explained to you along with your copy of any
information that can be released to you.

Kind regards

Lesley

Lesley Crawford (Mrs)

Corporate Information Officer

Governance Team

County Hall

Tel. No. 01225 718467

Fax. No.: 01225 718399

Email: [email address]

Website: www.wiltshire.gov.uk

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Crawford, Lesley, Wiltshire Council

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Link: [1]File-List

Dear Mr Paul Cardin

Freedom of Information Request - RFI 2852

Please see attached a response to your request for information.

Kind regards

Lesley

Lesley Crawford (Mrs)

Corporate Information Officer

Governance Team

County Hall

Tel. No. 01225 718467

Fax. No.: 01225 718399

Email: [email address]

Website: www.wiltshire.gov.uk

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Wiltshire 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