Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Canterbury City 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 Canterbury City Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

Since the inception of Canterbury City Council, or as far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number of current employees / ex-employees of Canterbury City 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 Canterbury City 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

foi, Canterbury City Council

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request.
Your email has been forwarded to the Freedom of Information Support
Team . We will endeavour to respond within 20 working days and if we
think the request requires extra time then we will contact you and let you

If you have any queries then please contact 01227 862 006 and ask for Lyn
McDaid or Geraldine Callaghan.

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FOI Support, Canterbury City Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

Please see below for our response:-

Upon checking our records, we can confirm that there are no such compromise agreements.

If you are unhappy with the way your enquiry has been dealt with, you may ask for an internal review through the council’s ‘comments and complaints scheme’, by e-mailing [email address] or by following the procedure set out in the council’s website page. Alternatively you can telephone Matthew Archer on 01227 862 175 or Janet Taylor on 01227 862 017.

If you are still dissatisfied after an internal review, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF.

Freedom of Information Support
Canterbury City Council
01227 862 534

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Canterbury City Council were one of the slower respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 21 working days (just over the statutory period) to respond positively and in full.

Please link here to read about the further aspects of this request:

...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.