Court Interpreting Statistics Collected by ALS
On 11.05.2012 at Hendon Magistrates' Court a solicitor who was on duty told me that another solicitor walked into court at around 11.00 am for a bail hearing. No interpreter had been booked for his case as nobody expected an ALS interpreter to arrive until much later the same afternoon. The case got adjourned.
The Magistrate was very annoyed that an interpreter had not been booked, so could not enter it on statistics of ALS failures.
On the issue of statistics and ALS failures, a recent correspondence with the Ministry of Justice shows that "the MoJ does not currently hold a central record of these details [interpreter booking statistics]. They are being collated by ALS and will be forwarded to the MoJ for publication once the figures have been finalised".
This simply beggars belief and shows yet another fundamental flaw in this whole absurd system. The client, a large government department, admits it has allowed the contractor to collect the contract statistics instead of vigilantly monitoring the contract and making sure the contractor fulfils its obligations. I simply cannot comprehend how if the Ministry of Justice were a commercial company, it would have permitted their contractor to assess its own performance. If the government thinks it can get away with it, then they clearly don't know how the market forces they so often refer to in their communications work: it will come out and have to be put right in the end.