Total Annual Figures for Compromise Agreements, etc.

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

Please supply totals for the following:

As far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number of current employees / ex-employees 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 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 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 Officer, East Dorset District Council

Your FOI request is acknowledged. I will get back to you with the
information as soon as I can.

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Cardin [mailto:[FOI #56623 email]]
Sent: 03 January 2011 22:09
To: Freedom of Information Officer
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Total Annual Figures for
Compromise Agreements, etc.

Dear East Dorset District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

As far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number
of current employees / ex-employees 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 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 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

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The information contained in this communication (including any attachments) is in-confidence and may be legally privileged.
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East Dorset District Council promotes global environmental awareness and the recycling of all reusable materials.
Please do not print emails unless absolutely necessary.

East Dorset District Council,Council Offices,Furzehill,Wimborne,Dorset BH21 4HN

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Freedom of Information Officer, East Dorset District Council

Dear Mr Cardin

Thank you for your request for information dated 3 January 2011.

Please see below for our replies.

If you have any complaints in respect of your information request, please
write to the Chief Executive at the address below or complete the on-line
complaint form that can be found at [1]www.dorsetforyou.com. If your
complaint is not resolved to your complete satisfaction, you have the
right to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision.

Yours sincerely,

Kay Mills
East Dorset District Council
Council Offices
Furzehill
Wimborne
Dorset BH21 4HN
T: 01202 886201 Ext. 2324
F: 01202 841390
[2]www.dorsetforyou.com

P Think before you print

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Dear East Dorset District Council,

Please supply totals for the following:

As far as records go back, the annual figures for the total number
of current employees / ex-employees 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).

1 x 20th April 2009 (Current employee)

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 the 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. - NONE

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

LEGAL NOTICE

The information contained in this communication (including any attachments) is in-confidence and may be legally privileged.
It is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and others authorised to receive it.

If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately and destroy any copies of this message.
Any disclosure, copying distribution or taking of any action in reliance on the content of this information is strictly prohibited.
Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of East Dorset District Council.

East Dorset District Council promotes global environmental awareness and the recycling of all reusable materials.
Please do not print emails unless absolutely necessary.

East Dorset District Council,Council Offices,Furzehill,Wimborne,Dorset BH21 4HN

References

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Dear Freedom of Information Officer,

Many thanks for your time,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

East Dorset District Council were one of the quicker respondents of the 345 councils asked, taking 12 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 - although 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