Procedures issued to courts when Capita interpreters cannot be found
Ministry of Justice, 2.19,
2nd Floor, 102 Petty France,
Mrs Yelena McCafferty
17 January 2013
Our Reference: 79892
Dear Mrs McCafferty,
Freedom of Information Request
Thank you for your email of 24 December 2012, in which you asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):
“1. Please provide a copy of any policy document or procedure which sets out the timescales for ALS/Capita to notify by email, phone or fax any court which placed an interpreter booking with ALS/Capita, short notice or otherwise, that no interpreter was successfully allocated under the Framework Agreement/Service Level Agreement with HMCTS.
2. Please provide a copy of any policy document or procedure which sets out all of the options available to any court in the event when an interpreter booking, short notice or otherwise, cannot be fulfilled by ALS/Capita under the Framework Agreement/Service Level Agreement with HMCTS, specifically:
a. Whether the court can source a freelance interpreter from the NRPSI direct;
b. Whether the court can source an interpreter from an agency, other than ALS/Capita;
c. Whether the court can withdraw the case requiring an interpreter from the list and relist it for another day, without any preliminary adjournment hearing;
d. Whether the court can keep the case requiring an interpreter on the list and have it adjourned on the day of the hearing;
e. Any other alternative arrangements. 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 department holds information that you have asked for, and I am pleased to provide this to you, extracted from the interpreters guidance for court staff.
The first part of your request is addressed by the following extract from the guidance:
“For booking requests that cannot be fulfilled, ALS will contact the member of court staff by telephone as follows:
Any hearings listed for the next day will be contacted by 2:30 pm on the day before the requirement.
Crown Court only: Warned list trials which are listed for trial the next day will be contacted by 2:30 pm on the day the booking request is made”
For part two of your request, the same guidance for court staff states that:
“If a job is unable to be filled, court staff will immediately inform a senior officer at the court and the judiciary. The senior officer at the court in conjunction with the judiciary will make a decision as to next steps.
The next steps to be considered are either: can the court source an interpreter directly or list the case for an application to adjourn. The operational manager will alert the Cluster Manager if they think it is appropriate to do so.”
No other specific policy has been sent to court staff in relation to this issue, so it is for the court to decide what is appropriate in the circumstances.
You can also find more information by reading the full text of the Act (available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/contents) and further guidance http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/freedom-of-information.htm.
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:
The published information is categorised by subject area and in alphabetical order.