Crown court hearing delayed as Capita booking system fails to detect a double booking
Guildford Crown Court, 31st May, 2013. Case listed for sentence.
Prosecution & defence counsel, defendant and both complainants were all in attendance by 9.45am.
However, the Arabic speaking interpreter was nowhere to be seen.
Capita sent a telephone message via a note to the judge at 10.40am.
It explained that the assigned interpreter "had informed Capita last night that he would not be able to attend as he was double booked".
There was no explanation as to:
i. how the double booking had occurred,
ii. why the system did not detect it,
iii. why Capita had waited until 10.40am the following morning to make arrangements to provide an interpreter ...
(provision of interpreters being the raison d'être of Capita's "price competitive" contract with the Ministry of Justice).
Capita reassured the judge via telephone message note that it would be able to provide an interpreter for 2.30pm, some 5 hours after the due time.
The defendant was left to wait in custody.
For whom was this, "Best value"?
a. the judge,
e. court staff,
f. tax payer,
g. the two complainants,
h. the "best value provider" Capita.