The Ministry of Justice's Language Service Contract

The Ministry of Justice's Language Service Contract

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Before January 2012, the Ministry generally booked interpretation services directly with individual interpreters, many of whom were listed on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI). This approach was administratively inefficient and the Ministry decided to set up a new centralised procurement system. The Ministry awarded the contract to a company, ALS, that was clearly incapable of delivering. Despite having been warned that ALS was too small to shoulder a contract worth more than Ap1 million, it went ahead and handed them an annual Ap42 million national contract. The Ministry did not understand its own basic requirements and ignored the views of interpreters, who had serious concerns about the contract. Capita took over ALS in late 2011. The Ministry needed access to 1, 200 interpreters when the contract went live but the company had only 280 properly assessed interpreters willing to work for it. The Ministry, though, still decided to go live nationally in one go. Many of the 'interpreters' it thought were available had simply registered an interest on the company's website and had been subject to no official checks. As a result, the company was able to meet only 58% of bookings causing a sharp rise in delayed, postponed and abandoned trials; individuals being kept on remand solely because no interpreter was available; and the quality of interpreters has at times been appalling. However Capita has only been fined Ap2, 200 to date for failing to meet the terms of the contract. Capita-ALS is now fulfilling more bookings, but it is still strugglingALS had contracts with a number of police forces and it was obviously important for me, as SRO, to talk to those police forces about the level of service that they were getting, because I had heard, and had had letters suggesting this, anbsp;...


Title:The Ministry of Justice's Language Service Contract
Author: Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2012-12-14
ISBN-13:

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