Justice CommitteeSupplementary evidence from NRPSI Ltd

JSC—Interpreting and Translation Services and the ALS Contract

One of the main failures of the current ALS/Capita contract is that it is all inclusive and there is a lack of independence in the monitoring of quality, competence, qualifications and dealing with complaints. The opportunity exists therefore for the contractor to cloud, fudge, miss or ignore some or all of these issues and as a consequence make it more difficult for the MoJ to be aware of and monitor the effectiveness of the delivery of the contracted service.

Evidence that we and others have provided points to many examples of such failures, deliberate or not, and we believe that whilst the present model continues efficiency and public safety will continue to be impaired because of the inherent lack of actionable accountability within the current contract approach.

We have stated that the solution needs to be based around a return to the basic elements of the National Agreement and have offered our support to the MoJ in working towards such a revision.

This means that whilst there are of course the issues of adequate remuneration and of rebuilding the massive loss of trust between the MoJ and its stakeholders to be dealt with, there also needs to be a separation of some of the functions currently undertaken by the contractor within the FWA. In our view this requires an independent registrar to vet and approve the qualifications of interpreters employed under the FWA, and to deal effectively and impartially with complaints.

Whilst of course we would point to the fact that such a regulator already exists with the NRPSI which is now completely independent, has revised and improved its Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures and has the trust and confidence of the interpreting profession, the main objective should be to separate these regulatory functions from the contractor.

October 2012

Prepared 4th February 2013