Major issues with MoJ's contract with Capita
The MoJ statement is tidal wave of (mostly irrelevant and/or ill-founded) details. That is not a coincidence. These details, even if they are accurate (and we know, thanks to the previous comment, that they are not always accurate), deliberately draw the attention away from the main issues.
So, valid as the attempt to rebut the MoJ's arguments over travel expenses is, I think we ought perhaps to focus on the main issues. Some of these are:
1. How can the MoJ argue that savings have been made if, in its own admission,
1.1. it cannot produce figures re: costs prior to Capita's involvement
1.2. cannot produce figures re: current total spending on interpreting services within and outside the contract
The issue being whether the MoJ is misleading the tax payer - and the Public Accounts Committee
2. How does the MoJ ensure Capita's compliance with the MoJ's constitutional, EU and ECHR duties, namely to ensure the defendant's access to effective interpretation and translation?
The issue being whether the MoJ is in breach of both the ECHR and the EU Directive
3. How does the MoJ defend an effective rate of pay that it knows to be below the minimum national hourly wage?
Issue: Knowingly tendering in breach of minimum wage rules
4. Have the terms of the public tender been changed retrospectively? Are those changes substantial enough to found the argument that the original tender has been terminated in fact.
Issue: is this allowed under EU tendering rules? (I am not a public tender specialist).
5. By acting as a single interlocutor for the provision of all interpreting and translation services, does Capita not in fact act as a temping agency?
Issue 1 : workers for temping agencies are protected by a separate EU directive: they have rights to sick leave, holidays and pensions.
Issue 2: In the case of some languages, the courts in this country may take the view that a multiplicity of short term contracts actually constitute a contract of employment!
I am sure that the MoJ's recent communication gives rise to many more major issues. It is important to bring these to the public attention, because they will be of interest to other "victims" of "public" contractors. That, and not arguments over the rate of re-imbursement of travel expenses, will keep the interpreting issue in the public eye.