Mr Blunt's Response to 4 MP's Questions - 13 more to come!
Mr Blunt's response to four questions from Mr Slaughter:
(Q) To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) when he was made aware of problems with the provision of translators to the courts service by Applied Language Solutions; and if he will make a statement; 
(A) Ministers were made aware of difficulties with the service provided by Applied Language Solutions on 14 February 2012. We are committed to ensuring that the rights and needs of those who require interpreters are safeguarded and we have asked the contractor to take urgent steps to improve performance. I am receiving regular reports on progress.
(Q) (2) whether (a) he, (b) other Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department had any involvement in the acquisition of Applied Language Solutions by Capita; and if he will make a statement; 
(A) Neither the Secretary of State for Justice, nor Justice Ministers or Ministry of Justice officials had any involvement in the acquisition of ALS by Capita.
(Q) whether providers of interpretation and translation services to the courts are required to undertake Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on their employees; and whether Applied Language Solutions undertakes CRB checks on its interpreters; 
(A) The contractor is required to ensure appropriate Criminal Records Bureau checks are undertaken.
(Q) what long-term measures he plans to implement to ensure that Applied Language Solutions provides qualified interpreters to the courts service. 
(A) The Ministry have made clear to the contractor that the problems must be addressed immediately. The contractor is taking urgent steps to improve performance including providing additional staff to deal with bookings, further targeted recruitment of interpreters in key languages and improvements to the call handling and complaints process. The Ministry is monitoring performance on a daily basis.