Friday 17 February 2012 by John Hyde
MoJ admits ‘teething problems’ with interpreters
The Ministry of Justice is allowing court and tribunals to select their own interpreters after admitting ‘teething problems’ with a new contract service.
The department confirmed today that temporary arrangements can be made if there is no one provided by its partner Applied Language Solutions (ALS). The concession comes on the eve of protests in two English cities at the way the new system has been integrated.
In a statement, the MoJ reiterated the cost savings the new contract will mean for the justice system, although a spokeswoman refused to say how long other interpreters will be allowed. The statement said: ‘This new contract will save at least £18m a year on the cost of interpretation and translation, a reduction of almost a third, but will ensure that high-quality interpreters and translators are still available to those in need.
‘The MoJ is working with ALS to closely monitor the operation of the new contract.’