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Monday, 29 April 2013

Taxpayer to foot bill for interpreter pay rise

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/taxpayer-foot-bill-interpreter-pay-rise 
29 April 2013 by Catherine Baksi 

Taxpayer to foot bill for interpreter pay rise 
A 22% hike in payments to courtroom interpreters is set to knock a large hole in savings forecast by the government under its ill-starred initiative to contract out the service.
The Ministry of Justice revealed last week that it would foot the bill for the extra payments, in its response to a damning report from the House of Commons justice committee into the contract with Capita Translation and Interpreting (formerly Applied Language Solutions). 
In February 2012 the Gazette was first to report that the central arrangements were causing problems for courts, partly because interpreters were refusing to work under the contract’s terms.
In a parliamentary statement, Helen Grant, courts minister, tacitly admitted that the contract was not acceptable to interpreters by saying the new terms ‘will have a direct effect on performance levels by attracting more interpreters to register to work as well as encourage those already registered to undertake more bookings’. 
A spokeswoman confirmed that the MoJ rather than Capita would pick up the bill for the improved terms, which Grant said would have ‘a direct impact on take-home pay’. 
The MoJ awarded the contract to Applied in August 2011, on a bid £50m lower than the nearest rival. Within weeks the company was acquired by Capita. The government had expected the deal to save £125m over five years.


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Official Government response to the Justice Select Committee report

Government Response to the Justice Committee’s Sixth Report of Session 2012-13:
Interpreting and translation services and the Applied Language Solutions contract 
http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm86/8600/8600.pdf



Written Ministerial Statement - 25 April 2013

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/April_2013/25-04-13/11.Justice-LanguageServicesFrameworkAgreement.pdf

 WRITTEN MINISTERIAL STATEMENT 

Thursday 25 April 2013

 MINISTRY OF JUSTICE 

Language Services Framework Agreement 

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mrs Helen Grant): 

Today, the Government responded to the Justice Committee report “Interpreting and translation services and the Applied Language Solutions contract”. This sets out some of the work which has already taken place and some which is planned in order to bring about improvements to the contract and the associated Framework Agreement for the justice sector. 

Part of this work was to review the current terms and conditions for interpreters under the contract in discussion with Capita and taking into account the feedback from groups of interpreters. I can announce that several changes will come into effect in May this year which will have a direct impact on take-home pay for interpreters. We are confident that these measures are affordable for the taxpayer, but will also have a direct effect on performance levels by attracting more interpreters to register to work, as well as encourage those already registered to undertake more bookings. 

The changes address a number of concerns that interpreters have raised with the Department and Capita and include paying interpreters at their qualified tier and in 15 minute blocks, extending the use of mileage payments and introducing cancellation fees where the hearing is cancelled or runs significantly shorter than expected through no fault of the interpreter. We are also introducing a fee to cover incidental costs that the interpreter might incur. 

Other work is ongoing in our challenge to Capita to improve performance under the contract. 

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wms/?id=2013-04-25a.71WS.1