Brooke Townsley: Re: Plenty of Creativity at the Hearings
I’d like to clarify the points raised in Brendan P’s post.
A response has been entered to the Committee following statements made in the hearing of Tuesday morning. I should point out that I made a statement to the Committee prior to the commencement of the hearings as well.
The implication of Mr Parker's assertion reported in the post is misleading in suggesting that I was supplying ‘consultancy’ services to ALS. They paid for consultancy delivered on behalf of the University on one occasion in January 2011 (about 4 hours). Subsequent to that, the University charged ALS for work done under a service provision agreement signed between the University and ALS.
Re: my consultancy advice to ALS, I must make clear the nature of the professional opinion I supplied on that occasion in January 2011. When asked to give my opinion on a proposed tier system for interpreters, I responded that I did not think it was appropriate or functional. I gave my reasons for this view. I was told that this was “what the MoJ wanted” and was non-negotiable. Given that it appeared that a tiered system for interpreters was inevitable irrespective of my (or anyone else's) advice, I suggested that the least worst option therefore would be a two tier system based on oral and written pass at DPSI or oral only. I also indicated that in my professional opinion, Tier 3 was a nonsense and should not be instituted.
That afternoon meeting in January 2011 was the sum total of Middlesex University consultancy time I delivered to ALS. Our next meeting was in the summer of 2011, when ALS re-approached the University to ask for help with the design of a quality check system for interpreters to be deployed in the CJS. This resulted eventually in a service contract signed between MUV (Middlesex University Ventures) and ALS. As an employee of the University, I was tasked with the delivery of the contents of that contract. It is this contract that is the subject of the views expressed in the hearing.
I pointed out to ALS on a number of occasions during the delivery of contract that there was no logic in quality checking interpreters who had recently passed their DPSI.
The reference to a written report in the blog article is a misapprehension. There never was any written report requested by ALS from me nor did I prepare one.
I would note that Mr Wheeldon was not present at the meeting referred to above in January 2011, nor did we have any further direct dealings with him during the service contract. This may explain what appears to be his ignorance of the extensive e-mail correspondence from the University to ALS indicating the problems that we encountered working with them over the short life of the contract.
These are the bare facts of the matter.