Corporate Services Cabinet Member – Minutes – 20 December 2010
429 (56) REGULATION OF INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT 2000 (RIPA) QUARTERLY REPORT – The Service Director Legal and Democratic submitted a report to inform the Cabinet Member of the council’s usage of RIPA between the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 September 2010.
RIPA was used by public authorities to secure the lawfulness of surveillance activities. The council had a RIPA Policy which was located on the website and had been deposited in group offices. Officers referred to this Policy when completing and authorising RIPA applications.
In accordance with the council RIPA Policy, the 7 applications that were authorised detailed why the surveillance was necessary and proportionate, and considered the risk of collateral intrusion.
Resolved – (a) That the usage of RIPA for the period from 1 July 2010 to30 September 2010 be noted.
When the policy was last amended in January 2010, it provided for an electronic evaluation system that replaced the original panel based evaluations. This approach was piloted for six months. Following this pilot the decision had been taken that it should revert to panel based evaluations. The electronic system didn’t realise the cost savings that had been envisaged as it required a greater level of support for managers. The electronic system was also going to require further investment in the future.
Resolved – That the revised policy be approved and adopted.
The council’s Redeployment and Redundancy policies were last updated during 2008 and 2006 respectively. Amendments had been made to the documents to support the council during a period of significant reductions in funding. There was the likelihood of potential redundancies and as a result an increase in the number of employees that the council endeavoured to find suitable alternative employment.
A framework of prioritisation had been introduced to the redeployment policy in the knowledge that the numbers of redeployees would increase. The prioritisation framework took account of employment legislation and relevant case law and also outlined the option for the Assistant Director Human Resources to temporarily remove from the redeployment register those redeployees in receipt of a protected payment who occupy a permanent post.
The revised redeployment policy had also been strengthened to encourage both redeployees and recruiting managers to make every effort to avoid redundancies. This was reinforced by informing potentially redundant employees that they may lose the right to any redundancy payment if they rejected an offer of suitable alternative without good reason. The ‘slotting in’ of redeployees was also promoted where possible and recruiting managers were required to document the reasons for any decision to reject a matched redeployee for interview or for a trial period following an interview.
The revised redundancy policy strengthened the detail outlining the council’s obligations to consult and communicate appropriately during potential redundancy situations. It also updated references to the compensation for termination of employment due to redundancy. Changes were also made to outline to potentially redundant employees, the implications of accepting a job offer with another council or Modification Order Body.
The relevant trade unions had been consulted and were supportive of the revisions.
Resolved – That the revised redeployment and redundancy policies be approved and adopted.
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