9 Apr 2012
Minister defends small-firm contracts
He also countered concerns expressed in Whitehall that buying from small firms remains risky. Applied Language Solutions has been criticised for service failings after winning a contract last summer to supply court translators in England and Wales. The firm has required existing translators to take pay cuts and many have boycotted its service, while some on its books have failed to turn up at court when required, leading to costly delays and censure from the Ministry of Justice.
The company was acquired by Capita in December and took over the contract in February.
Mr Maude said the service failings were unacceptable but were not related to the company's size. "They clearly miscalculated," he said. "Look at what the consequences are: the service is still being provided; the failing company has been taken over by a competent operator that will put whatever is needed into it to make it work. […]