Justice CommitteeWritten evidence from Colvin de Silva

As an Interpreter on the National Register, I would like to make the following observations to the Parliamentary Committee that is appointed to go into the MOJ/ALS contract for interpreting and translation activities in the Justice sector.

It is clear that the contractor ALS has miserably failed to honour the obligations to the Courts under the contract and also failed to find qualified and tested interpreters to work for them due to low wages offered. This situation has undoubtedly affected the quality of such services and frustrated the smooth working of courts.

When similar conditions arose is two sectors, the government stepped in and took control and remedial action was taken swiftly.

Case 1 concerning Immigration Advisors who worked without any regulation and control. The government created the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner and thus settled the fluid situation.

Case 2 concerning the Mortgage and Financial Services. In a situation that this sector was without any regulation, the Government took steps to created the Financial Service Authority and brought about a satisfactory solution to all those in this sector.

My humble suggestion to the Parliamentary Committee is to bring Interpreters and Translators under the control of an independent state controlled body who will be charged with responsibility of regulating the sector.

August 2012

Prepared 5th February 2013