How well is the interpreting contract with ALS really running now?
The statements we hear from the Ministry of Justice today are no different from anything they said before. They are very brief and just state that everything is OK and improving.
The other side of the story is this:
- On 24th May the MoJ will publish ALS data, but who prepared this data? Applied Language Solutions. Who verified this data? No one! So how can it be reliable if the party providing this data has a vested interest to portray that everything is hunky dory and the MoJ makes no attempt to verify this data?
- What exactly is meant by “the contract with Applied Language Solutions is now running properly”?
During the questioning of Peter Handcock, Chief Executive of HMCTS, by the Justice Select Committee in March he said that initially the level fulfilled by ALS was 40% but after the introduction of emergency measures it quickly improved to 90%!
It means that when the contract started in February and ALL of the requests for interpreters were passed to ALS, they were able to deliver on only 40% of those requests.
However, when the courts were allowed to call NRPSI interpreters directly, ALS quickly improved to a 90% delivery rate. And nobody paused to think for a second what it meant.
You now see how these statistical tricks can be applied to turn an unmitigated disaster into remarkable turnaround in performance.
Unless there is an independent scrutiny of the stats and data by actual practitioners from this industry who KNOW how this industry works and who are able to expose these statistical tricks, everything will look hunky dory on paper! And who is saying quantity goes hand in hand with quality anyway? Who are these linguists they are sending to interpret?