I would like to make the following two requests:
1. The papers, minutes and agenda for all remuneration committee meetings from 2005/06 until the present – although I do appreciate that the earlier records might not be available (e.g. mergers/demerger/deleting records etc) and any records you have would be happily received.
2. The papers, minutes and agenda for all audit committee meetings from 2005/06 until the present – although I do appreciate that the earlier records might not be available and any records you do have would be happily received.
The purpose of this information is to understand the process of how corporate governance and more specifically how senior remunerations committees operate and how this has changed across time. This analysis will be used in my PhD thesis and future journal publications. My analysis includes all UK local councils (over 400 institutions) across as many years as possible, so hence no institution will be individually identifiable. I have successfully retrieved this data from other institutions and understand that these decisions are made on a case by case basis; so I would happily discuss this further and will give whatever assurances you need.
Based on my university ethics policy I have to abide by anonymity or non-identifiable groupings (e.g. large council, small council, labour-led council in the North-West etc). I and my supervisor have also signed confidentiality agreements with other local councils to assure them that we will give anonymity and not disclose these documents to anyone else. We will also happily do so again if you feel it is necessary. I appreciate that these documents contains personal information related to salaries; however, I anticipate that this data will not be used as income data has already been retrieved from the HESA and the statement of accounts. The audit committee meeting will be used as a control variable between local councils to understand their organisational complexity.
I would strongly argue that understanding the process of senior remuneration and how it is changing is in the public interest; and the impact on individual councils or people will be completely minimal.
Your assistance is appreciated and I await your response as set out by the freedom of information act.
In response to your FOI enquiry below I would respond as follows:
The Council does not have a Remuneration Committee. An Independent Remuneration Panel meets annually to consider Members’ Allowances and their report is included in the agenda for Annual Council held in May/June each year. There are no agendas or minutes for the IRP meetings.
The agendas and minutes for all Audit Committee meetings can be accessed via the Council’s website – www.brentwood.gov.uk – via the Democracy section.