Government's court interpreting agency hit with wasted costs orders

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  • "Recruit a friend" for £250, what a great idea! Except... How many of your friends are professional linguists with a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting in English Law? None? Thought so! So who are you going to refer for the court work? A mate who's out of work at the moment? A local handyman? A taxi driver maybe? Your nanny? Gavin, I'm afraid your plan has failed :))) A failed dragon in the past, a failed businessman at the moment, I bet the future isn't going to be that bright for you either!

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  • From what I've read, it appears that anyone can become an interpreter with ALS. Apparently 'Jajo the Rabbit' was 'hired' to work at Birmingham courts:
    http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2012/03/09/jajo-the-rabbit-hired-as-translator-at-birmingham-courts-97319-30493197/

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  • This disaster is an egregious but sadly predictable example of the consequences of inept government procurement practices -- at best naive, arguably driven by ideology and/or wishful thinking over realism, far too often ready to accept untested assertions of capability from the cheapest bidder, assessing cost on risibly narrow terms of reference with no regard to wider value or how a service interfaces with existing processes.

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  • MoJ has made the British justice system a JOKE.

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  • It would appear that our noble legal profession is no longer concerned about miscarriages of justice.
    It was judges that created the professional court interpreter in 2001 and it is judges through their complacency that are allowing this profession to die. Lord Justice Auld wrote in 2001: "Urgent steps should be taken to increase the numbers and strengthen the quality of interpreters serving the criminal courts and to improve their working conditions" - in other words if you want to avoid miscarriages of justice you need professional interpreters, not ALS interpreters.
    Applied Language Services were apparently the only company that had enough qualified interpreters (over 3000) and they won the contract.
    A miscarriage of justice, as it has been proven beyond doubt that they lied (hardly any professional interpreters are prepared to work for them), and they have been found out, now they say they have 1700 and 'more people joining every day'.
    One can only speculate why a company that won through blatant lies has not been kicked out, instead the Ministry of Justice and the Government seem hell-bent on protecting it. Pure coincidence that ALS now belongs to Capita, a major party donor.
    Meanwhile my wife, who as a professional court interpreter for 10 years never earned more than 20k a year, is - like many of her colleagues - leaving the profession rather than work for a company so clearly not fit for purpose. And that is a miscarriage of justice too.

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