Who needs Capita's Relationship Coordinator?
Linguist Lounge has received a message from a Capita interpreter sharing some personal experience of dealing with a new position introduced within Capita TI, that of a Relationship Coordinator. Apparently this new coordinator’s job is to call linguists and send them text messages and e-mails if calls were not answered, double-checking with them less than 24 hours before assignments if they are definitely able to do both jobs they have been booked for the next day.
Understandably, this Capita interpreter is annoyed that while their travel allowances and bonuses were cut, this coordinator is paid to do a job which on the surface appears useless: to contact people after a lengthy process of receiving offers through text, e-mail, calls and web portal, checking diaries, accepting jobs, being begged to reconsider, being assigned… Every day.
While this new practice appears to be unnecessary, it probably gives us an insight into how Capita is making efforts to minimise disruptions for courts/MoJ, in the instances when linguists are late for assignments or cancel them at the last minute.
In the Court of Appeal last month the legal representative of Capita Translation and Interpreting stated that the company would assist the court on any occasion where an interpreter does not attend by providing the reasons to the court and, if the court considers it appropriate, by giving full disclosure on any failure of systems or any other previous failures by that interpreter.
Indeed, that happened in courts before, when judges summoned the contractor to explain themselves, for example, in July last year ALS/Capita explained to Peterborough Crown Court how the interpreter had cancelled the job at short notice.
It may well be that by double-checking their linguists' availability less than 24 hours before the job, Capita are protecting themselves against any complaints raised by courts experiencing problems and are gathering evidence that it was the linguist’s responsibility for being late or cancelling a job.
What is not clear is why the contractor is allowed to get away with excuses when blaming linguists for non-performance under the contract if the contractual relationship is with the MoJ and Capita and not with individual linguists. At the end of the day, the whole point of the Framework Agreement was to make ALS/Capita responsible for everything: booking, vetting, testing, quality control, payments.