7 Dec 2011
Applied Language Solutions
Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2011, Official Report, columns 544-5W, on Applied Language Solutions,
(1) whether the statement in that answer that the assessment of creditors of Applied Language Solutions (ALS) falling due within one year is nil is reconcilable with ALS' 2009-10 accounts which show creditors with debts falling due within one year as £1.926 million;
(2) what the criteria were which his Department used in making its choice of provider; and for what reason Applied Language Solutions was chosen as the provider.
Crispin Blunt (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Prisons and Probation), Justice; Reigate, Conservative)
The answer provided previously was in response to a question which the Department considered to relate specifically to mezzanine funding which is a hybrid of debt and equity funding.
In more general terms, a financial assessment of Applied Language Solutions considered the company to be financially viable with a profitable position. At the time these issues were considered, it was known that the solution would be a one-stop shop facility that could be delivered by one or more companies. Small and Medium Enterprises, including Applied Language Solutions, with reasonable financial positions and scalable solutions were therefore considered suitable.
The criteria used to determine the choice of provider were: Service 30%, Innovation 10%, Quality 25%, Assurance of Supply 30% and Sustainability 5%. In financial terms, the Ministry of Justice had determined it would accept the lowest priced, affordable and compliant tender, i.e. there would be a minimum threshold of 80% for the non price criteria above which the lowest priced tender would be selected. Applied Language Solutions met the criteria and submitted the lowest priced tender.