Tuesday, 19 March 2013

PQs - 19 March 2013


19 March 2013
Topical Questions
Oral Answers to Questions — Justice

Grahame Morris (Easington, Labour)
I thank the Justice Secretary for his reply, but may I draw his attention to the Public Accounts Committee’s damning report on the Ministry of Justice’s handling of the court translators contract?
Again it is a case of being penny wise and pound foolish. Two hundreds cases in England and Wales had to be cancelled, costing the public purse millions of pounds. Experienced and trained translators are still refusing to work with Capita, which was awarded the contract. Will the Minister, as part of his action plan, rescue our justice service and abandon this failed contract?

Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald, Conservative)
I hear what the hon. Gentleman says, but we are working very closely with Capita. Our success rate is good, but it can, of course, improve, and it will improve. The British taxpayer will save some £15 million per annum as a result of this contract, and I am fully convinced that the new contract will be more accountable, transparent and effective than the old one.

Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent, Labour)
The failed contract with ALS/Capita is a year old. Does the Minister agree that her claims of massive savings
cannot be demonstrated, given that the Ministry refuses to publish details of how much is spent off-contract to purchase interpreting services?

Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald, Conservative)
I think that I have made the position clear, but I will repeat it. The contract is operating at a very good success rate, but further improvements can be made. Having worked as a solicitor in the old regime, I can say that it certainly was not perfect. I am satisfied that the new regime will not only save the taxpayer a considerable amount of money, but be more effective, transparent and accountable than the old regime.

No comments:

Post a Comment