MoJ refuses to reveal volume of court interpreting assignments beyond Framework Agreement with Capita
Ministry of Justice, 2.19,
2nd Floor, 102 Petty France,
Our Reference: FOI 82000 19 April 2013
Dear Ms Johnson,
Freedom of Information Request
Thank you for your e-mail of 5 April 2013, in which you asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):
“I am writing to request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:
Please provide the number of requests for language services made by the HMCTS from 30th January 2012 to 31st January 2013 outside the Framework Agreement of the MoJ with Capita TI (formerly ALS) to other language service providers, including commercial agencies and freelance interpreters. For the avoidance of doubt, to provide this information such requests should be excluded from the 131,153 requests received in the same period by Capita TI, according to the recent statistical bulletin published on 28th March 2013, i.e. the requests in question were placed with language providers before contacting Capita TI in the first place.
Please let me have the information requested above in the electronic form.”
Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I can confirm that the Ministry of Justice holds information that you have asked for. However, because the cost of complying with your request would exceed the limit set by the Freedom of Information Act, on this occasion I am afraid I will not be taking your request further.
The law allows us to decline to answer FOI requests when we estimate it would cost us more than £600 (equivalent to 3½ working days’ worth of work, calculated at £25 per hour) to identify, locate, extract, and then provide the information that has been asked for.
In this instance to provide you with the information we would be required to access records from locations across England and Wales for a 12 month period to check whether they had made bookings outside the contract (this information is not held centrally for criminal courts), and then to check whether Capita had been contacted
first. I am satisfied that this would take well above the 3½ working days’ worth of work allowed by FOIA.
You can find out more about Section 12(1) by reading the extract from the Act and some guidance points we consider when applying this exemption, attached at the end of this letter.
You can also find more information by reading the full text of the Act, available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/section/12.
Although we cannot answer your request at the moment, we might be able to answer a refined request within the cost limit. You may wish to consider, for example, reducing the time frame or limiting your request geographically. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee at this stage that a refined request will fall within the FOIA cost limit.
I am sorry that on this occasion I have not been able to answer your request. You have the right to appeal our decision if you think it is incorrect. Details can be found in the ‘How to Appeal’ section attached at the end of this letter.
You can also view information that the Ministry of Justice has disclosed in response to previous Freedom of Information requests. Responses are anonymised and published on our on-line disclosure log which can be found on the MoJ website: http://www.justice.gov.uk/information-access-rights/foi-requests/latest-moj-disclosurelog
The published information is categorised by subject area and in alphabetical order.
Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service