Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

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

Please supply totals for the following:

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

Freedom of Information, Daventry District Council

Please accept this response as acknowledgement that your request has
been received by the Council. Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 the Council has 20
working days in which to respond to your request.

If you require any further information regarding this request please see
contact details below.

Vikki Smith
Information Access Officer

Daventry District Council
Lodge Road
Daventry
Northants NN11 4FP

DX: 21965 Daventry

01327 302510

[Daventry District Council request email]

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Freedom of Information, Daventry District Council

Dear Mr Cardin,

Thank you for your email. I have been dealing with your request under
the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The Council holds this information for five years only, then the
information is disposed of in accordance with the Council's Records
Management procedures.

I can confirm that within the last five years the following number of
ex-employees have signed compromise agreements:
2 in 2010
1 in 2009
1 in 2007

With regard to signing specific clauses regarding Data Protection and
Freedom of Information requests, the answer is none.

I trust the information provided sufficiently answers your request for
information.

If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Vikki Smith
Information Access Officer
Development & Property

Daventry District Council
Lodge Road
Daventry
Northants NN11 4FP

DX: 21965 Daventry

01327 302510

[Daventry District Council request email]

Before printing, think about the environment please refrain from printing this email unless absolutely necessary.

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Daventry District Council were one of the quickest respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 17 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