24 May 2012
Solicitor-General rejects call for inquiry into ALS
The Solicitor-General has rejected calls for an investigation into a Saddleworth company which provides interpreting and translating services for courts.
Last year Applied Language Solutions won a five-year Government contract to provide translation and interpreting services for the police and courts.
But the deal with the Ministry of Justice, which was expected to save £18 million a year, has been criticised in the Commons by Labour.
During Commons questions to the Attorney General, Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter said: “Reports from the media, the courts and interpreters themselves show, contrary to his briefing, that problems with Applied Language Solutions are getting worse not better.
“The Ministry of Justice is intending to publish its analysis of their performance this week, based on data we understand collected by ALS themselves.
“So will the Law Officers conduct their own investigation of the collapse of interpreting and translating service in our courts, one that will put the interests of justice before the self-serving interests of the Ministry of Justice and its contractor.”
Solicitor General Edward Garnier refused to investigate Delph-based ALS and said the contract was working well.