About us

Thursday, 26 January 2017

PQs - 26th January 2017

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2017-01-12.HL4606.h

thebigword
Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th January 2017.

Baroness Coussins Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have a target figure for cost savings for the provision of court interpreters under the contract with thebigword; and if so, what is it, and against what baseline it is measured.

Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)
The Ministry is committed to ensuring the justice system is supported by a range of quality language services that meet the needs of all those that require them.
All our new language service contracts contain robust performance and charging provisions which are designed to ensure the value for money and affordability of the services provided by the department's suppliers. However, we have not felt it appropriate to set a target figure for cost savings for the provision of court interpreters, which is a demand-led service, given the importance we attach to the provision of such support to those who most need it.



thebigword
Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th January 2017.

Baroness Coussins Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the contract with thebigword for court interpreters specifies any particular level or type of qualification which individual interpreters are expected to have.

Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)
The Ministry is committed to ensuring the justice system is supported by a range of high quality language services that meet the needs of all those that require them.
Bookings are classified depending on their complexity level, namely: ‘standard’, ‘complex’ and ‘complex written’. These complexity levels were determined by each Commissioning Body.
I can confirm that the contract sets out the minimum level of qualification and experience a language professional is required to have in order to work on each complexity level of booking. Details of these qualifications can be found at: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/975cb99e-fec6-430f-8f31-fd532a907137



Courts: Interpreters
Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th January 2017.

Baroness Coussins Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the cost, in the last quarter of 2016, of cancellations and adjournments of court hearings because no interpreter arrived, or because the interpreter arrived too late, or was an interpreter in the wrong language, or proved to be an inadequate interpreter; and how this cost compares with each quarter of the previous year.

Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)
The information requested is not held centrally.



Courts: Interpreters
Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th January 2017.

Baroness Coussins Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the future supply chain of qualified court interpreters, in the light of the payment levels and cancellation policy established by the Ministry of Justice.

Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)
The Ministry is keen to maintain the quality and capacity of the future supply chain of qualified court interpreters, to make sure that the justice system continues to be supported by a range of high quality language services that meet the needs of all those that require them.
The Ministry has awarded a contract to 'The Language Shop' (part of the London Borough of Newham) to provide us with independent quality assurance of the translation and interpretation services. This contract also includes the requirement for The Language Shop to develop and administer a Language Professional Trainee Scheme with the primary objective of increasing the resource available to the other language service suppliers in pursuit of fulfilling Commissioning Body bookings.
The Trainee Scheme will provide one or more clear, structured and flexible pathways for part qualified language professionals to become qualified within specified timescales. The Language Shop, and the other language service suppliers, are also required to jointly promote and encourage participation in the Scheme at the point of registration and through industry and academic networks and events.



Courts: Interpreters
Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th January 2017.

Baroness Coussins Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the provision of court interpreters is being independently monitored.

Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)
The new language service contracts began on 31 October 2016 and are subject to robust governance arrangements.
These include monthly meetings with suppliers and stakeholders to monitor and discuss, in detail, the quality of the services being provided and performance against contractual performance indicators. The contracts also provide for the Ministry to audit the suppliers to verify the accuracy of contractual payments, management information, and compliance with contractual obligations.
In addition, the Ministry has awarded a contract to 'The Language Shop' (part of the London Borough of Newham) to provide independent quality assurance of the services provided under the other contracts, including those awarded to the thebigword Ltd. The Language Shop undertakes this assurance in a number of ways, including managing the Ministry’s register of interpreters, conducting an annual audit of supplier processes for introducing new linguists, and a programme of 'spot checks' of interpreters undertaking assignments.
The Language Shop also has a responsibility to assure the correct levels of qualifications, skills, security clearance and experience are held by each linguist through their ongoing assessment programme and in response to complaints or specific concerns during the contract period.



thebigword
Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th January 2017.

Baroness Coussins Crossbench
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which company, or companies, are being sub-contracted by thebigword to provide court interpreting services; and whether those companies are subject to quality assurance.

Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)
To ensure a high and consistent level of fulfilment across all geographical areas and in rare languages, thebigword have partnered with a number of subcontractors, namely: Global Language Services Limited, Cintra Translations Limited, Debonair Languages Ltd, Supreme Linguistic Services Ltd, Mango Spice Language Solutions, J-anne Interpreting and Translation Service Limited, Global Translation Services and Language River.
Thebigword must ensure that its subcontracts contain obligations no less onerous on the sub-contractor than those imposed on them by the Ministry, including those relating to quality and performance standards. Thebigword are also responsible for carrying out audits to ensure subcontractor adherence to the contract service specification.
All language professionals provided by thebigword, whether directly or via subcontractor, will be subject to ongoing quality assurance provided by The Language Shop. This includes a programme of 'spot checks' of interpreters undertaking assignments.

Monday, 23 January 2017

PQ - 23rd January 2017

https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-12-19.58170.h

The Big Word
Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 23rd January 2017.

Royston Smith Conservative, Southampton, Itchen
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how her Department assesses the quality of service provided to it by The Big Word Ltd; and with what frequency such assessments take place.

Oliver Heald The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice
The Ministry is committed to ensuring the justice system is supported by a suite of high quality language services that meet the needs of all those that require them.
The new language service contracts which began on 31 October 2016 and are subject to robust governance arrangements.
These include monthly meetings with suppliers and stakeholders to monitor and discuss, in detail, the quality of the services being provided and performance against contractual performance indicators. The contracts also provide for the Ministry to audit the suppliers to verify the accuracy of contractual payments, management information, and compliance with contractual obligations.
In addition, the Ministry has awarded a contract to 'The Language Shop' (part of the London Borough of Newham) to provide independent quality assurance of the services provided under the other contracts, including those awarded to the thebigword Ltd. The Language Shop undertakes this assurance in a number of ways, including managing the Ministry’s register of interpreters, conducting an annual audit of supplier processes for introducing new linguists, and a programme of 'spot checks' of interpreters undertaking assignments.

Friday, 20 January 2017

“Unsustainable and unworkable” system blasted by interpreters

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/348063/unsustainable-and-unworkable-system-blasted-by-interpreters/ 
20 January 2017

“Unsustainable and unworkable” system blasted by interpreters
The Courier publicised the concerns of a whistleblower earlier this month alleging the failure of NHS Tayside to properly care for Dundee’s deaf and hard of hearing community.
The whistleblower, who works closely with people reliant on the work of interpreters, claimed deaf people regularly attend medical appointments to find no interpreter present.
It is understood interpreters have become increasingly frustrated by what they see as NHS Tayside failings, compounded further by refusal to engage “despite their reliance on their services to fulfil obligations under the Equalities Act 2010”.
The interpreters, who have asked not to be named in order to protect their positions, said: “The system is shambolic and unworkable and unsustainable.
“We’ve told NHS Tayside about our concerns and nothing has been done.
“People are attending crucial medical appointments and they’re unable to communicate because there is no interpreter present.
“We read the diversity and inclusion manager’s statements with interest and are pleased they’re engaging with the EHRC and local Deaf Community.
“However, despite repeated requests, they have yet to consult or engage with us to ensure that effective systems are put in place to ensure that an improved service can be delivered to, and received by, all interested parties.”
A spokesperson for the National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI) said: “The failure of Tayside NHS Trust to provide British Sign Language interpreters for Deaf patients is a situation mirrored across the UK.
“This is largely a result of the current commissioning procedures which allow only for interpreters booked via agencies or “middle-men”.
“The NHS must meet its responsibilities under the Equalities Act and work with local interpreters to ensure deaf patients are always provided a qualified interpreter who is registered with an appropriate regulatory body.
“NUBSLI is working with Unite legal to challenge the current commissioning process in order to raise awareness of the risk this places over the sustainability of the BSL/English interpreting profession and the provision for deaf and deafblind people.”
Unite regional co-ordinating officer Dougie Maguire said: “We have been made aware that there are issues in the translation and interpreting service, and will be working with our members to see how we can assist.”
NHS Tayside say communication is maintained with interpreters through the board’s health and deaf action group and that concerns will be addressed.
NHS Tayside Diversity and Inclusion Manager Santosh Chima added: “NHS Tayside is committed to the obligations and responsibilities under The Equality Act 2010.
“Over the next few months, we will be taking forward a project to review the interpretation and translation services contract currently outsourced to DTIS (Dundee Translating and Interpreting Service).
“This will allow us to consider other options in how we deliver and manage interpretation and translation services in the future.
“As part of this project, we will be involving, engaging and consulting with a wide range of stakeholders across Tayside, including interpreters.”