Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Privatised justice and erosion of democracy in the UK

27 August 2013 by Michael Turner QC

Privatised justice and erosion of democracy in the UK
Justice minister Chris Grayling, having learnt precisely nothing from having the tax payers’ hands bitten by G4S and Serco over the tagging contracts, has handed the new contracts to: Capita, Telefonica, Astrium and Buddi.
I can not tell you much about three of those companies but Capita we know of old. They took over the court translating and transcribing contract and have cost the taxpayer fortunes by often not providing translators at all or if they do, ones not able to speak the language of the defendant or the court. Not surprising really, since 81 per cent of professional translators have refused to sign up to their service, due to the appalling pay and conditions offered to them. Capita’s slice of the tagging cake is £400 million over six years.
A source asked me to look at their translation and interpreting arm accounts for 2012 and interesting reading they make too. How, you might like too ask, does a company with a turnover of £21,138,244 make an operating loss of £15,004,222?
Well, it appears quite simple really. Your administrative expenses more than triple from the previous year to £9,337,657. You find an onerous contract expense of £6,270,810 for software development. Then you find you have creditor amounts of £16,607,703, £12,102,384 of which is owed to a wholly owned subsidiary registered in the USA and you need to make a £6,508,409 provision for future liabilities. Oh dear, Mr Grayling, no tax revenue coming your way again.

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