"Improving" performance of Capita
I had a call from a solicitor's office offering me a job in a magistrates' court in West Midlands last week. Unaware that a court would resort to booking an interpreter through the appellant, I agreed to take up the job. On arrival at the court, I realised that I was going to interpret for an appeal and the appellant was asked to book the interpreter. The respondent, I was told, did not have any objections to this and the court did not give a damn about the all important principle of impartiality. The appellant told me: ''You need to give me a hand when I am stuck'' and I told him categorically that I have to be impartial although I have been booked by you.
When I dug a little deeper, I found out that the Capita interpreter was late for the previous hearing turning up at 2.00pm for a 10.00am hearing. During my chat with one of the ushers, whom I knew through previous assignments, he told me that Capita was summoned to a Crown court in the region in relation to problems with interpreters and got away with it. I thought about refusing to interpret for the court but this was an important hearing for the appellant after years of waiting and he was funding his solicitors privately thousands of pounds.
On separate occasion, I was asked by another client I was interpreting for in Hertfordshire: ''why don't you attend courts as I had to wait until 2.00pm for the interpreter to arrive for my hearing''. Surely an improving performance, minister!