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0 votes
How common are non-disclosure agreements at the town and parish council level, eg. with/ for staff leaving post? And is there anything to prevent a council agreeing to keep the existence of an NDA confidential?
by (1.7k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote

If you accept the fundamental principles of openness and honesty in public office, then anyone being presented with, or asked to endorse, an NDA will be required to compromise their personal integrity. 

NDAs are fundamentally required to cover up or avoid publication of a set of circumstances. 

How can that EVER be appropriate when measured against the NOLAN principles. 

So that would be my starting point. 

Now to the reality of joining a PC that has (IMHO) inappropriately agreed to an NDA (a) because it suits them to seek to prevent scrutiny of the inadequacies of staff management and scrutiny leading to the reasons for the staff member having their contract terminated and (b) to facilitate a payoff and avoid the potential of a constructive dismissal and not have to explain this to the public. Another issue is that it may include a stipulation as to future employment references so that a known incompetent, liar and manipulative deviant can continue their rein of moving between councils employment and continue the charade generating chaos and harvesting pay-offs along the way  

If a PC needs an NDA there are likely to be fundamental issues which the PC wishes to avoid publication. 

I cannot think of a valid reason why an NDA should be applicable in public office. 

by (22.2k points)
Sorry - forgot the part ‘how common’

I know of 1
Totally agree with you
0 votes
A settlement agreed upon at an employment tribunal or negotiated by lawyers to prevent a case from going to tribunal will normally include a confidentiality clause to prevent either party from disclosing any details of it. An agreed reference would normally be included too. These elements are legally enforceable.

An NDA written by a parish council is unlikely to be enforceable.
by (54.1k points)
If there is an element of confidentiality within a severance agreement it will, and must, be ‘qualified’ confidentiality.
It cannot be a ‘blanket’ obligation because there are pre-existing, higher level obligations for certain disclosures.
Nothing agreed within a voluntary contract between 2 parties can oblige either party to ignore or transgress existing statutory or legislative obligations.

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