3 July 2013
Social Security Benefits
Work and Pensions
Stephen Timms (East Ham, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what restrictions apply to the use of translators in social security fraud investigations; and if he will make a statement.
Mark Hoban (Fareham, Conservative)
The restrictions that apply to the use of translators/interpreters in social security fraud investigations are:
The translator/interpreter must be independent of both the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the interviewee (and the police when the interview follows an arrest). Friends, relatives or colleagues of the interviewee cannot be used.
A translator/interpreter must be qualified to this minimum standard:
(a) A diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) in the languages where it is offered for examination, or
(b) a degree level language qualification with an interpreting component, or
(c) a pass of the Metropolitan Police Test (post 1997), or
(d) equivalent Level 4/5 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Interpreting Standards or
(e) membership of a professional body e.g. IOL or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI).
The translator/interpreter's role is confined to translating the fraud- interviewer's questions and the interviewee's answers. The translator/interpreter should not provide legal advice.
Every translator/interpreter working in the criminal justice system should be registered with the National Register of Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI—the National Register) or the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP) Directory of British Sign Language/English Interpreters.
Translators/interpreters must be able to demonstrate language skills and an understanding of, and ability to adhere to, the role of translator/interpreter.