Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Broxtowe 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 Broxtowe Borough Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

Since the inception of Broxtowe Borough Council, or as far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number of current employees / ex-employees of Broxtowe Borough 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 who have agreed, following the matter being raised and made conditional as part of a compromise agreement drawn up by the body acting as Broxtowe Borough Council's legal team, to 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 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

Broxtowe Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Broxtowe Borough Council. This is an automated reply to let you know that your email has been received. If any action is necessary it will be passed to the relevant officer who will respond to you directly.

Visit our Website www.broxtowe.gov.uk to make payments, download forms and to find information about all our services.

You can telephone us on 0115 9177777. Our switchboard is open for calls Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5.00pm and 8.30am till 4.30 on Fridays. The main Council Offices are also open for visitors between these times.

You can write to us at - Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB.

Broxtowe Borough Council

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foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Paul

Thank you for your request. You will receive a reply as soon as
possible and in any event by 1 February 2011 at the latest. Please
contact me if I can be of any help in the meantime.

Regards

Sue
______________________________________

Sue Rodden
Head of Administrative Services

Broxtowe Borough Council
Council Offices
Foster Avenue
Beeston
Nottingham
NG9 1AB

Tel: 0115 9173295
Fax: 0115 9173131
www.broxtowe.gov.uk

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foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Paul

Further to your request, I can now advise that the number of
employees/ex-employees who have signed compromise agreements is as
follows:

2007/08 4
2008/09 1
2009/10 1

I hope that this answers your enquiry. However, please contact me if I
can be of any further help.

Regards

Sue
______________________________________

Sue Rodden
Head of Administrative Services

Broxtowe Borough Council
Council Offices
Foster Avenue
Beeston
Nottingham
NG9 1AB

Tel: 0115 9173295
Fax: 0115 9173131
www.broxtowe.gov.uk

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Dear foi,

Thank you for your response. Please could you address the second part of my query which refers to employees forgoing their rights to make future FOI / DPA requests as part of a compromise agreeement?

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Broxtowe Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Broxtowe Borough Council. This is an automated reply to let you know that your email has been received. If any action is necessary it will be passed to the relevant officer who will respond to you directly.

Visit our Website www.broxtowe.gov.uk to make payments, download forms and to find information about all our services.

You can telephone us on 0115 9177777. Our switchboard is open for calls Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5.00pm and 8.30am till 4.30 on Fridays. The main Council Offices are also open for visitors between these times.

You can write to us at - Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB.

Broxtowe Borough Council

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foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Paul
Apologies for missing that part. I'll get a response to you as soon as
I can.
Regards
Sue

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foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Paul

I have now been able to check and the answer to your second part is
none.

Regards

Sue

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Dear foi,

Thank you very much for your time,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Broxtowe Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Broxtowe Borough Council. This is an automated reply to let you know that your email has been received. If any action is necessary it will be passed to the relevant officer who will respond to you directly.

Visit our Website www.broxtowe.gov.uk to make payments, download forms and to find information about all our services.

You can telephone us on 0115 9177777. Our switchboard is open for calls Monday to Thursday from 8.30am to 5.00pm and 8.30am till 4.30 on Fridays. The main Council Offices are also open for visitors between these times.

You can write to us at - Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB.

Broxtowe Borough Council

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Broxtowe Borough Council were one of the quicker respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 15 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