Tuesday, 15 May 2012

PQs - 15 May 2012

15 May 2012

Valerie Vaz (Walsall South, Labour)
Constituents of mine who are interpreters have given me a dossier about Applied Language Solutions and its failings. Court hearings have been adjourned and costs have been incurred. Will the Minister update the House on what action he is taking against ALS—for breach of contract?

Crispin Blunt (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Prisons and Probation), Justice; Reigate, Conservative)
On 24 May, we will publish a full statistical analysis of the performance of ALS up to 30 April. Since the contract went national after a successful regional pilot in the north-west on 30 January, there were significant problems with the exercise of that contract, both related to the administration by ALS and to the attitude of interpreters engaging with ALS. I am pleased to be able to report to the House that the performance of ALS and its owner Capita has considerably improved in this area. The position has improved further since 30 April, and it is achieving very nearly now the performance required under the contract.

15 May 2012

Translation Services

Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of hearings or trials requiring interpreters have been delayed due to Applied Language Solutions not providing an interpreter in the last year.

Crispin Blunt (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Prisons and Probation), Justice; Reigate, Conservative)
Full implementation of the contract with Applied Language Solutions commenced on 30 January 2012. There were an unacceptable number of problems in the first weeks of full implementation of the contract, however the Government took swift action to require improvements and performance has now improved significantly.
Information on the number of hearings or trials delayed due to problems with the new interpretation and translation contract is not available. The Chief Statistician for the Ministry of Justice has already announced plans to publish statistics on the use of interpreters in courts on 24 May 2012.

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