Bid to beat government cap deadline
The York Council will hold a private meeting in a few days time to consider what exit payments to make to senior staff leaving the Authority. The move follows a decision last month to reduce the size of its management team.
One Director will lose her job. It appears that one “Chief Officer” is seeking to retire early.
Council regulations require that any pay off deals, costing over £100,000, are authorised by Councillors.
No details of the individual payments have been published – to preserve individual privacy – but the payments are expected to be amongst the highest ever authorised by the York Council.
The Council report includes the following statement on national policy,
“The Government is currently consulting upon options to introduce a cap on the total cost of exit payments for staff working in the public sector. The total figure which has been proposed is £95k. The specific details of the scheme are still subject to consultation and have not been published but there is likely to be some form of ‘capping’ of exit payments introduced at some point in the coming months. On the 24th February, the Minister of State responsible for the introduction of these provisions confirmed that the earliest implementation date would be 1st October 2016″.
The Council has not yet fully responded to a FOI request for information on why it has imposed confidentiality (compromise) agreements in respect of 41 redundancy decisions made over the last 5 years.
While individuals do have a right to privacy, taxpayers also need to be convinced that their money is being spent wisely.
No justification is offered for the proposal to offer enhanced terms on “early retirement” to one officer and it appears that one of the posts will subsequently be filled by recruitment.
Sadly some will see this as another case of lack of transparency at the City of York Council made worse by an indecent haste to evade central government restrictions?