Outsourcing is not fit for purpose
17th July 2012
Interpreters for Justice - Campaign Update Newsletter OUTSOURCING IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE
The Government’s outsourcing philosophy has come under sustained examination and attack in the media following the G4S fiasco. It is clear that outsourcing provides unacceptable standards of service and higher costs, and is now questionable as a means of managing public services. Interpreter organisations warned the Ministry of Justice about these dangers in 2010 and on many occasions subsequently, and were ignored.
The last few weeks have seen many new developments in the ALS/Capita situation, with the flawed MoJ Framework Agreement (FWA) coming under further scrutiny not only from interpreters’ organisations but also from the press, the Judiciary, police and the Government itself.
In order to bring all interested parties up to speed on what has been happening, we have put together this newsletter, containing information on the latest court cases affected by the FWA, news articles and current activities being undertaken by professional interpreters’ groups to put an end to the debacle.
Recent Updates from the courts
14/07/2012: Manslaughter case adjourned due to interpreter ‘concerns’
A trial at Winchester Crown Court was adjourned after concerns were raised about the interpreter, Mubarak Lone, who is not on the NRPSI. The judge, Mr Justice Burnett, discharged the jury, telling them: “Problems had arisen about the accuracy of some of the interpretation”. Case set to resume July 16th.
Winchester Crown Court – defendant Mrs Kaur, Judge Burnett
29/06/2012: Another unqualified linguist sent to court…
Mrs Tsvetanka Lisiyska-Amirashayeri, acting as a Bulgarian Interpreter supplied by ALS, is not on the NRPSI and has no relevant qualification for the job. After the short hearing on the 29th she joined the solicitor and his interpreter for a chat and a cup of coffee in the Cafe, because [quote] “...to make it at least 2 hours, otherwise they won’t pay me much”
Court 3 at Maidstone Magistrates’ - His Honour Judge Patience QC
15/06/2012: Another adjournment at Northampton Crown Court
Committal for Sentence hearing adjourned until 29th June as ALS unable to provide an interpreter.
Case: S20120155 NGUYEN Hoang 34NC0125712
07/06/2012: ALS sends Czech interpreter for Slovakian defendant
A Bradford Crown Court robbery trial was abandoned because an ALS interpreter failed to turn up. Even after a spokesman for Applied Language Solutions (ALS) pledged to find out what went wrong, they then supplied a Czech interpreter for the Slovakian defendant the day after the jury was discharged. The trial was consequently aborted and relisted for 29th August. The question of a costs order will be raised when the trial starts afresh.
Trial of Stanislav Jano, Bradford Crown Court, Recorder Christopher Storey QC
Thank you to those of you who regularly update us on incidents such as these. You can read more examples at http://www.linguistlounge.org/
Latest News and Activities
ALS execs jump sinking ship
It has been confirmed over the last week that both David Joseph (Head of Linguist Relations) & Richard Loyer (Public Services Director) have left Applied Language Solutions, closely followed by Mr Gavin Wheeldon himself. Not only does this indicate serious operational difficulties within ALS but may also indicate the beginning of the end for the FWA in its current form.
National Audit Office begins investigations
The NAO has begun its investigations as requested by Margaret Hodge, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, during which they will be looking closely at the procurement process that the MoJ followed prior to implementation of the FWA.
Interpreters’ groups and their members are also in regular contact with MPs within the Justice Select Committee, which is considering launching its own enquiry into the FWA’s capability of delivering Justice to non-English speakers.
Interpreters’ groups in joint appeal to Crispin Blunt
Professional interpreter bodies; the Association of Police & Court Interpreters (APCI), Society for Public Service Interpreting (SPSI), Professional Interpreters’ Association (PIA), Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), National Union of Professional Interpreters and Translators (NUPIT), Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL), Society of Official Metropolitan Interpreters (SOMI) and the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI), have written collectively to Crispin Blunt MP (July 12th) requesting a meeting between the Ministry of Justice and representatives from each organisation to discuss a way forward.
Government admits FWA unlikely to meet predicted savings
The Government has admitted on 9 July that the contract with ALS/Capita is unlikely to meet the expected £12m saving in its first year. Lord McNally, facing a barrage of questions from peers, is quoted as stating in the House of Lords that “…some of the original estimates of a £12 million saving in the first year will probably not be achieved – that makes common sense…” Questions in the Lords may be viewed here. Slide to 23m 35s for interpreting segment.
Collectively we are in contact with well over 100 MPs who have assisted us in submitting hundreds of written Parliamentary Questions which, unfortunately but not unsurprisingly, have elicited the same stonewall answers every time. We are also keeping a log of all refused FOI requests in order to make a case to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
We need your FWA feedback
Thank you to those legal professionals who have provided us with feedback on court cases affected by the FWA and who have kept us updated on their complaints. These examples have been vital in compiling real time information on the worsening situation and we humbly request that more legal professionals continue to get in touch with us to share their experiences.
Aisleen Marley | firstname.lastname@example.org
Penny Arbuthnot | email@example.com
01473 326341 / 07885 238374
You can also follow Interpreters for Justice on Twitter: @United4Justice
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