Interpreting error leads to £25,000 retrial costs

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  • In its current state the whole contract is far from meeting expectations.
    Outsourcing – as in this contract – is a natural business model for court interpreting because of the complexity and volume of the back-end system that’s required to support it. A lot of administration and resources are required to make a national system of the size required for court interpreters across the whole of England and Wales run effectively and efficiently.
    But it’s clear that the new system doesn’t work and neither did the old one - where courts individually appointed interpreters from the National Register of Court Interpreters. Interpreters understandably don’t want to work for a lot less money than they were used to and receive no travel costs into the bargain if they are travelling a long way to fulfil a booking.
    The whole system has fallen apart and this contract needs to be rescinded urgently. It was awarded purely on the basis of the cheapest provider and this is the result – sheer chaos
    This debacle is affecting the credibility of the whole industry. There needs to be consultation with the interpreting community in order to get things moving again because it’s clear that everything is at an impasse.
    There needs to be a wider appreciation within Government of the measurement of quality, rather than just the National Register of Court Interpreters – for example, conference interpreting is more demanding than face-to-face and court interpreting experience is an important criteria that needs to be taken into account.
    We need to get back to a system where everybody appearing in court receives the same quality of services, without discrimination. Court interpreting needs to be reliable, efficient and effective.

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