I don't know who is calling the shots over at North Lanarkshire Council 's Freedom of Information (FoI) operation these days, but if you ask me whoever is in charge has taken leave of their senses.
Because the Council has just refused my FoI request asking for details of the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) which the Council carried out back in 2006 on the ridiculous grounds that disclosing this information would "prejudice substantially the effective conduct of public affairs".
But I have to ask myself in all seriousness - 'How can it possibly prejudice anything in 2014 to be told who Iris Wylie was talking to in Unison back in 2006 and how can people knowing more about the EIA terms of reference possibly do the Council any harm?"
Unless the Council has something to hide of course which is why I'll be submitting a Review Request pretty damn quick - so watch this space.
North Lanarkshire Council
BY E-MAIL TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr Whitefield
I would like to make the following request under the Freedom of Information Scotland Act 2002.
1 Please provide me with a copy of the e-mail from the Council's Head of Personnel to Unison dated 7 March 2006 which sets out detailed terms of reference for the Equality Impact Assessment conducted by the Council over its plans to implement the 'single status' agreement with effect from 1 April 2006.
I look forward to your reply and would be grateful if you could respond to me by e-mail to: email@example.com
Dear Mr Whitefield
Curiouser and Curiouser 2 (18 August 2014)
In other words not treating male jobs more favourably than their women colleagues.
Yet that is exactly what appears to have happened in North Lanarkshire, if recent developments at the Employment Tribunal are anything to go by because the Council has been forced to concede that many jobs have been wrongly graded and that the bonus payments of male workers were into account when these jobs were moved over on to new pay structures.
So I was amazed I have to say at the following comments from the EIA report which is marked "Private and Confidential" and is dated 14 March 2006"
"While I have not been asked to review the entire implementation proposal I understand that pay equality in the new pay and grading structure is underpinned in the proposed NLC arrangements for:
Now I'm almost lost for words at complacency involved because what was the point in asking someone independent of the Council to review the impact of the JES and the pay arrangements that flowed from the JES, if that person did not actually complete the job?
If you ask me that is and was a completely crazy state of affairs which is why I've submitted a further FoI request about the EIA's terms of reference which appear to have been set by Iris Wylie, the Council's head of human resources.
Curiouser and Curiouser (4 August 2014)
I've had a response to my FoI request to North Lanarkshire Council regarding the Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out by the Council back in 2006 which makes for very interesting reading, I have to say.
Now all the names of people have been removed from the published document, for reasons that make little sense to me, but as I know who all the key players are already this doesn't present any problems.
Here is what the first two paragraphs say:
In my role as independent consultant to the COSLA Job Evaluation Consortium and the Scottish Joint Council for Local Government Services I have been asked to undertake an equality impact assessment of the grading and pay structure that North Lanarkshire Council has developed in order to implement the 'single status' agreement with effect from 1 April 2006.
Terms of Reference
With the assistance of the North Lanarkshire Council Job Evaluation Project Team I have undertaken a limited statistical analysis of the outcomes of the job evaluation exercise in accordance with the terms reference set out by the Head of Personnel in her e-mail to (NAME DELETED) of Unison dated 7th March 2006.
Now I will have more to say about the substance of the report in due course because I find its comments about the Council's Implementation Strategy really quite shocking, but first of all I think I'm correct in saying that the person who set the EIA's Terms of Reference back in 2006 (as Head of Personnel) is still in that position all these years later in 2014, albeit the post now has the title of Head of Human Resources.
Which means it must be none other than my old acquaintance, Iris Wylie, who is the former partner of Unison's regional secretary in Scotland, Mike Kirby.
But what exactly were these Terms of Reference and who is the mysterious Unison person whose name has been deleted by the Council in answering my FoI request?
I think we should be told - so watch this space for further news.