Friday, 28 June 2013

Trendspotting - Conflict of interests (Attila Piróth)

Trendspotting - Conflict of interests (Attila Piróth) 

This document aims to investigate some cases of conflicting interests between freelance translators and middlemen, and demonstrate that such conflicts may become irreconcilable.
As a prime example, the Framework Agreement between the UK Ministry of Justice and Applied Language Solutions (now Capita Translation and Interpreting) is discussed in detail.

Read the full article here:

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

PQ - 26 June 2013

26 June 2013 
Capita Translation and Interpreting

Jonathan Evans (Cardiff North, Conservative) 
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the quality of service provided by Capita Translation and Interpreting; and if he will make a statement. 

Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald, Conservative) 
Performance review meetings are held regularly with Capita TI, and detailed management information on performance is obtained on a weekly basis. Statistics published in March 2013 show that between 30 January 2012 and 31 January 2013, only 0.2% of all bookings completed by Capita TI received complaints about interpreter quality. We remain committed to working closely with Capita TI to drive continuous improvement.

Monday, 24 June 2013

MPs demand an end to interpreters contract 
24 June 2013 by Catherine Baksi

MPs demand an end to interpreters contract
A parliamentary debate last week heard calls for the ‘shambolic’ court interpreters contract to be scrapped, as the service continues to miss performance targets.
During a debate on the Commons Justice Committee’s damning report on the contract, shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter cited a press report about a Lithuanian interpreter who admitted that she routinely advises defendants to ‘tell the truth about how everything happened’.
Interpreters are forbidden to advise those for whom they interpret.
MPs voiced concern that the contract is ‘seriously damaging’ the administration of justice and warned that the predicted £15m savings are ‘seriously at risk’ due to the cost of delayed trials.
As the government seeks to procure large contracts for rehabilitation, prisons and criminal legal aid services, committee chair Sir Alan Beith MP warned there would be a ‘multiple train crash’ if the failings of the relatively small interpreting contract were repeated.
Justice minister Helen Grant accepted there had been ‘teething problems’ at the start of the contract, but said performance was now at 90%, against a 98% target, and there was no need to consider suspending or revoking the contract.

Lack of interpreters holding up courts cases in North Wales 
24 Jun 2013

Lack of interpreters holding up courts cases in North Wales
Trials are being held up while the right people are found to deal with certain dialects
Important court cases are being delayed because of difficulties with translators and interpreters.
The trial of Slovakian Julius Hecko, who was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for 10 years at Caernarfon Crown Court, was delayed for nearly three days because Capita, the company contracted to supply interpreters, sent Czech speakers.
Last Friday Lithuanian Gytis Masiulis admitted causing the death of a young woman by dangerous driving at Mold Crown Court.
At his first appearance at Flintshire magistrates’ court the case had to be delayed for 24 hours when no interpreter turned up.
A Parliamentary committee heard more than 600 UK court cases have been postponed or abandoned as a result of problems with Capita interpreters.
During the Caernarfon trial a Slovakian interpreter, instructed by Hecko’s defence team, objected as Czech speaking translators took the oath. In all five translators were rejected before suitably qualified Slovakian speakers were found. These were not provided by Capita.
Judge Merfyn Hughes QC was told there were similarities between the two languages but with distinct differences.
Ordering an explanation the judge ruled: “We cannot take any risk in this case. Mr Hecko is entitled to understand every word said in his trial.”
Lawyers told the Daily Post the delays and problems are all because of cost.
One solicitor said: “The Court Service are prevented from seeking interpreters from anyone other than Capita Translation and Interpreting Services. They are at the root of the problem and its all down to money.
“If court staff were able to source interpreters from a variety of sources it would run much more smoothly.”
Last night a Capita spokeswoman acknowledged there had been “challenges regarding the delivery of this contract”.
"Processes have been put in place to get the service running efficiently and effectively. The vast majority of booking requests are fulfilled and the volume of complaints has fallen.
“Capita is committed to fully supporting the requirements of the Ministry of Justice, police and court service and providing opportunities for interpreters.
"Any complaints received from our customers about interpreters on the registered panel are investigated.
“All of the registered panel of interpreters are qualified to at least the minimum standards required and many are qualified well beyond this."

PQ - 24 June 2013

24 June 2013
Courts: Translation Services

John Leech (Manchester, Withington, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate his Department has made of the costs of jobs procured outside the framework agreement between his Department and Capita IT under the interpreting and translation services and applied language solutions contract.

Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald, Conservative)
There has been a dramatic improvement in the performance of the interpreter contract since initial problems at the start of 2012, with the vast majority of bookings now being completed and a major reduction in complaints. Our changes saved taxpayers £15 million in the first year of the contract. We have recently put in place a series of changes to fees to drive further improvement, following discussions with interpreters and the contractor.
The Ministry of Justice is currently in the process of collecting data about interpretation jobs procured outside of the framework. This work is being progressed in light of recommendations made by the Justice Committee. I will be in a position to confirm on our estimate of monthly expenditure from April 2013 onwards after the summer, once this data has been collected and verified.