Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from
the Clerk of Committees
It is difficult to give an exact cost for providing
for providing simultaneous translation for first-language Welsh
speaking witnesses giving evidence at Westminster, but I have
been able to obtain a quote which should be of some use.
For a three hour session the approximate cost would
be in the order of £415. This would include translation at
£45 per hour, travel time at £30 per hour and travel
costs. It would be based on one translator travelling from Wales
and translating from Welsh into English only. It might, I imagine,
be possible to save on the travel costs by using translators based
in London, but equally their charges might well be higher. There
would presumably also be extra costs if it were felt necessary
to provide as well for translation from English to Welsh, since
I assume that an extra translator would be needed.
You also asked about the rules for simultaneous translation
facilities for witnesses with little or no English giving evidence
to select committees. In essence such facilities are provided
where necessary where necessary; as Clerk of Committees I would
expect to be informed and give my approval. Such cases are very
rare. The only example I have been able to find was a recent session
the European Scrutiny Committee held with the European Parliament's
representatives to the IGC. The total cost of this was £825.50
plus VAT plus the interpreter's expenses of about £50.
I should be borne in mind that a large element in
the cost of this example was the provision of necessary equipment.
Now that some of the new committee rooms in Portcullis House have
the appropriate facilities built in, future costs should be proportionately
C B Winnifrith CB
13 November 2000