Freedom of information: Compromise agreements
13 September 2013
Thank you for your request dated 17 August 2013 under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) in which you requested full details of any payments made to former COPFS employees to ensure they did not discuss their work or take any further legal action once their employment ended. You requested that this should cover each of the last four financial years and include a breakdown of each individual pay out for the compromise or settlement deal agreed. You asked that details on the grade of each recipient should be provided with details of each individual payout.
We have now completed our search for the information you request and can advise that in the last four financial years, ie, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13, there were four compromise agreements offered and accepted. It might help if I explain that these compromise agreements fall within the terms of your request because they were paid to former COPFS employees in settlement of potential legal action against COPFS. We do not, however, make payments to employees or former employees of COPFS for the purpose of ensuring that they do not discuss their work. Employees of COPFS are bound by the Civil Service Code, the terms of their contract of employment and the Official Secrets Act.
The total payable for all four was £69,994. As the numbers are so low, the specific individual amounts and grades of each recipient have not been provided. This information is exempt from release under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA as it would allow for the ready identification of an individual member of staff. This exemption is an absolute exemption and is not subject to the public interest test.