Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Wokingham 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 Wokingham 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

Dear Wokingham District Council,

By law, I believe the authority should have responded promptly and
by 1st February 2011.

Although I have received no response, to assist, and as an act of good faith, I would like to reduce the scope of the original request as follows:
Please exclude all COT3 Agreements and all compromise agreements
drawn up in the following circumstances:

1. Purely redundancy situations
2. Purely PILON (pay in lieu of notice) situations
3. Equal pay claims
4. TUPE situations
5. Purely voluntary severance situations

Further to this, please reduce the time period to the years between
2005 and 2010 i.e. the last six years.

I am researching this particular area and aim to view trends and
movements both regionally and nationally. It would benefit myself
and the authority if the figures reached were as accurate as
possible.

When responding, please give figures in calendar year format e.g.
2005 - 1; 2006 - 3; 2007 - 2; etc.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

informationrequests, Wokingham Borough Council

Dear Mr. Cardin,

Thank you for your email received on Sat 5th February 2011 regarding a
request for Information you made, under the Freedom of information Act
2000 asking for Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements.

You mention that your original request was made by email and that the
request should have been responded by the 1st February 2011. As I deal
with Freedom of Information Act 2000 within Wokingham Direct;
unfortunately we do not have any record of receiving this email. This
means, therefore, the first contact we hold from you is on Saturday 5th
February 2011 and this has been registered as the date of request.

For our records, can you please forward your original email?

The reference number for this FOI request is AXLR8 2021. The due date for
a response to the below FOI request is the 07/03/2011.

Please quote this reference number if you need to contact us in future
regarding this request.

I apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Yours Sincerely,

Robert

Wokingham Direct

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Dear informationrequests,

Thanks for your response. If you go to this link, you will see the original request:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/to...

However, for your convenience, here are the two messages I've sent to date. Please note that the second request reduces the scope of the request significantly. Please also address the second part of the original request i.e. the question related to FOI / DPA gagging clauses:

(9th January 2011) Dear Wokingham 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,

(5th February) Dear Wokingham District Council,

By law, I believe the authority should have responded promptly and
by 1st February 2011.

Although I have received no response, to assist, and as an act of
good faith, I would like to reduce the scope of the original
request as follows:
Please exclude all COT3 Agreements and all compromise agreements
drawn up in the following circumstances:

1. Purely redundancy situations
2. Purely PILON (pay in lieu of notice) situations
3. Equal pay claims
4. TUPE situations
5. Purely voluntary severance situations

Further to this, please reduce the time period to the years between
2005 and 2010 i.e. the last six years.

I am researching this particular area and aim to view trends and
movements both regionally and nationally. It would benefit myself
and the authority if the figures reached were as accurate as
possible.

When responding, please give figures in calendar year format e.g.
2005 - 1; 2006 - 3; 2007 - 2; etc.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Dear Wokingham District Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wokingham District Council's handling of my FOI request 'Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.'.

This request has now been responded to positively and in full by
251 English Councils. I'd appreciate it very much if while
conducting this internal review, you took into account all the
questions and information I have supplied to date.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/to...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

informationrequests, Wokingham Borough Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

I refer to your FOI request reference number Axlr8 2021 and have been supplied below the answer received in response to your request

Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements:

2005 - 4
2006 - 3
2007 - 6
2008 - 4
2009 - 3
2010 - 4

I apologise for the delay in response for those who have entered into Compromise Agreements. I have been informed that the relevant department will provide the information within the next 5 working days.

Thanks
Kind regards
Robert Mendonça
Wokingham Direct

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Dear informationrequests,

Many thanks for the information, although late.

Please could you respond to the second part of the original query i.e.

"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."

many thanks in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Azhar Ghose, Wokingham Borough Council

Dear Mr cardin

Further to the second part of your Freedom of Information request asking
for total figures of those who have been required to forgo FOI or Data
Protection rights , please note the following :

2005 - 0
2006 - 0
2007 - 0
2008 - 0
2009 - 0
2010 - 0

I trust that this now deals fuly with your request.

Regards

Azhar Ghose
Senior Solicitor
Governance and Democratic Services (Legal)
Wokingham Borough Council
Shute End
Wokingham
RG40 1BN

Tel: 0118-974-6544
Fax: 0118 974-6542
DX: 33506 Wokingham
E-mail: [email address]

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Dear Azhar Ghose,

Many thanks for your time,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Wokingham District Council were one of the slowest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 41 working days (over twice the statutory period) 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