FOI request to MoJ on use of Tier 3 linguists
A response has been received, it's there for anyone to see at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/interpreter_framework_contract_f so I won't bother restating it here. An answer was not provided to questions 1 and 2, as this information is already available in the latest statistics from the MoJ, or at least up to the end of August.
On question 3, which asked how many assignments were fulfilled by Tier 3, the MoJ claims it does not have this information, but very graciously re-quoted the figure of 2% offered up by Capita to the Public Accounts Committee last week. It beggars belief that the MoJ does not have the information because in Section J2 of the Framework contract, where it lists the management information that has to be provided, one item is '...Face to face: Monthly breakdown of number of assignments per region, per tier, per language, per collaborative partner plus total cost...'
Going back to the MoJ statistics, in the 7 months from February to August 2012, a total of 56,751 assignments were fulfilled, and if 2% of these were fulfilled by tier 3, that's about 1135 assignments. Divide that by 132, the number of Tier 3 on Capita's list, and that works out to an average of 8.6 bookings each, or 1.2 per month. If an average booking is for 2 hours, and they are paid at £16/hour, the average income works out at £39 month. One wonders how long it will be before Capita expects them to work as unpaid volunteers.
I noticed there were some groans of disbelief from the Committee audience when the 2% figure was stated, as the observations of what is happening on the ground would suggest the true figure is a lot higher, or that many of the Tier 2 'terps actually belong in Tier 3.
In a response to the consultation on the proposed tiering arrangments, the Chartered Institute of Linguists made the following observation '...It should be noted that Tier Three is 'A'-level standard. At this level, there will need to be safeguards in place. The National Occupational standards in Interpreting calls this level Trainee and interpreting takes place "in a sheltered environment and with guidance from a mentor"...' This response was dated 3rd May 2011 and co-authored by ALS's consultant, Brooke Townsley.
Capita stresses the point that Tier 3 are used only with the agreement of the client, but do booking clerks really understand what tiering means in terms of competence? After all, they've only had it explained to them by Capita.