Interpreting and Translation Services and the Applied Language Solutions Contract

Interpreting and Translation Services and the Applied Language Solutions Contract

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Evidence suggests that the MoJ did not have a sufficient understanding of the complexities of court interpreting work. Significant concern was revealed that quality standards could be diminished by the imposition of a tiered system to enable a wider pool of interpreters, and by the introduction of lower levels of pay. However, the Department pushed ahead with the contract and failed to properly anticipate or address the potential for problems with Applied Language Solutions' (ALS) capacity to deliver on its promises. ALS, and more recently Capita, has been unable to recruit qualified and experienced interpreters in sufficient numbers. Professional interpreters have largely boycotted the new arrangements and Capita-ALS clearly needed significantly more resources than it had at its disposal. It also only paid lip service to the regulatory duties accepted under the Framework Agreement, yet did not have the capacity to cope with complaints or to implement basic vetting procedures. The MoJ has had to monitor Capita-ALS very closely to secure the level of improvement necessary to make the Agreement workable, and continues to do so. The existing arrangements may not be financially sustainable as Capita is propping up the continuation of the Agreement, which mean that the Department's savings, originally projected to be Ap15million, are effectively being secured at the company's expense. Actions taken by MoJ also had the effect of hampering the inquiry when HMCTS issued an edict to its staff instructing them not to participate in the Committee's online consultation, established to invite direct observations from frontline staff of the performance of ALSThis was supplemented by the Mo] publication of statistics on interpretation services on 18 October (covering the period ... copy of the email we sent on 24 October and a sample email that had been received at a court are annexed to this letter.

Title:Interpreting and Translation Services and the Applied Language Solutions Contract
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Justice Committee
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2013-02-06


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