Justice is supposed to be blind, but not when signing outsourcing contracts.
A stark example of this unthinking wage-cutting was exposed by the House of Commons’Justice Committee inquiring into the Ministry of Justice's (MoJ) calamitous outsourcing: the provision of foreign language interpreters. Interpreters are required in courts and tribunals to help ensure non-English speaking defendants receive justice. Ironically interpreters are mainly freelance contractors - they are already 'private sector'. The MoJ seemed to simply want someone else to take on the task of cutting the interpreters' pay.
The startling incompetence with which the MoJ chose the outsourcer, Applied Language Solutions (ALS), had already been described in a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) in September 2012. The NAO observations suggest the MoJ seemed to take the “justice is blind” thing too literally. The NAO commentary reveals:
a) The MoJ ignored a report it itself had commissioned, that advised ALS was too small to take on such a big project. The report recommended giving ALS contracts worth no more than £1million a year, a small fraction of the actual £200 million plus value of the outsourcing deal over five years. The MoJ was too dazzled by ALS' cost cutting promises.
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