20 Dec 2011
Robert Flello (Stoke-on-Trent South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice
(1) what the (a) average and (b) maximum delay was in the provision of interpreters and translators in (i) courts and (ii) tribunals in November (A) 2010 and (B) 2011;
(2) how much his Department spent on the provision of language services in the 12 months before those services were outsourced;
(3) how many interpreters and translators were used by HM Courts and Tribunals Service in each month since October 2010;
(4) what representations he has received from professional bodies representing interpreters and translators on the transfer to Accredited Language Services of his Department's interpretation services;
(5) how many organisations tendered for his Department's interpretation service contract that was awarded to Accredited Language Services.
Crispin Blunt (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Prisons and Probation), Justice; Reigate, Conservative)
The information is as follows.
(1) Information on delay in the provision of language services is not collected. Under our new contract for language services we will in future be able to monitor whether assignments are delivered on time.
(2) The latest figure available is for the 2010-11 financial year, when costs were estimated to be in the region of £25.8 million.
(3) Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service does not record the number of interpreters and translators used in each month.
(4) The Ministry sought and received a range of views, both from individual interpreters and their various representative groups. We have also conducted meetings with a range of those groups, and invited stakeholders to submit their views directly to the project through a dedicated email address. My officials sought views on the specific proposals as they had emerged from the competitive dialogue process, which was undertaken between 30 March 2011 and 4 May 2011. We received a wide range of views in response. All of the responses received were carefully considered by the project team, and formed part of the advice submitted to me when making the decision whether to move to the Framework Agreement. The Ministry continues to receive, consider and respond to correspondence from interested parties and groups.
(5) 126 companies submitted an expression of interest. Of those, 67 submitted a completed pre-qualification questionnaire. 12 were invited to dialogue, six were invited to submit Outline Solutions, three were invited to submit detailed solutions and one (Applied Language Solutions) was invited to submit a final tender.