Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Cotswold 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 Cotswold District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

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

Dear Cotswold 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, I would like to 'sharpen' and 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

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.

Many thanks in advance,

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Yvonne Edmonds, Cotswold District Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Thank you for your request. We can find no trace of your previous
request - could you please send us a copy of the original in order to
fully answer the questions.

Regards.

Yvonne Edmonds
Freedom of Information Administrator
Tel: 01285 623561
Cotswold District Council

show quoted sections

Dear Yvonne Edmonds,

As requested, but please bear in mind my most recent message as this is relevant and reduces the scope of the request..............................

Dear Cotswold District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

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

Paul Cardin

Yvonne Edmonds, Cotswold District Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Further to your Freedom of Information Request we have checked our records
and I can confirm that at Cotswold District Council we have not entered
into any Compromise Agreements.

I trust this answers your query.

Regards.

Yvonne Edmonds

Freedom of Information Administrator

Tel: 01285 623561

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Dear Yvonne Edmonds,

Many thanks for your reply,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

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