Lost in translation

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  • MoJ Framework Agreement is dangerous according to Iqbal Begum's case. It will kill people wrongly and destroy the UK Justice system very badly.

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  • The new agreement has landed the courts in a huge mess. Every day, there are more cases adjourned or delayed becuase an interpreter could not be supplied. If you read the agreement, you may come to conslusion that it is structurally flawed. Something needs to be done to solve this. The old system, although it had faults, did work. A simple calculation would show that the MOJ has spent around £2 million pounds setting this up, through the grandly entitled 'Interpretation Project', staffed by civil servants who at one point were happily trotting around England and Wales running workshops and roadshows. Then there are all of the costs associated with a complex procurement exercise. Rather than save money, it is costing more. Before long, there is going to be an absolute calamity.

    Sadly, the MOJ doesn't appear to do common sense and prefers to cling on to a rotten deal. Unless they take their heads out of the sand and start talking soon, this is going to get much, much worse.

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  • Since ALS took over, generally defendants have been kept in custody for much longer than they should have been. A qualified interpreter usually costs about £100 - ALS interpreters probably get only about £20. So no doubt there is a saving of £80, some of which will go to ALS as their profits. In the meantime, an extra day in custody costs over £700 - so MOJ will have lost over £600 whilst trying to save about £40? False economy? For some reason, the allegations that the MOJ has a direct financial interest in the success of ALS start to make sense...
    ALS should NEVER have been awarded the contract in the first place.
    NONE of the ALS interpreters have been SECURITY CLEARED. So you could have a drug dealer interpreting for his drug mule - lovely, right?

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  • I appreciate that the public services are expected to make cuts across the board. However, given that our country is world famous for it's high quality legal system, it beggars belief that such a thing can be allowed to happen. I believe there has now been a BBC debate about this matter, which will only make things worse for the MoJ as it's been brought to the wider publics attention and as such potential criminals will be looking for ways to exploit this to there owns means and walk away free.

    As far as I can see, the only ones benefitting from all this are the person/s owning ALS. One also has to ask, how come they were the only ones offered this monopoly...sorry 'contract?

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  • Perhaps the reason can be explained for choosing such a visibly flawed scheme from the outset. Has anyone looked at the ownership of ALS, it was sold by none other than the same idiot in the government who has piloted this project. What makes the explanation even more clear cut is that this "minister" stands to make some £60 odd million for themselves should this project succeed. This explains the perceiving on such a badly thought out idea.

    You can't suddenly reduce people's wages by 50% and remove expenses in this way. What next, will we start on other skilled trades such as lawyers and doctors, declaring that a lawyer can earn no more than £20 an hour and claim no expenses.

    The government needs to realise that they need the interpreters more than the interpreters need them.

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  • MoJ can get out of this whenever they want:
    Framework Agreement (http://to.ly/ccwB) p146 "Sub-contractors not adhering to contract with main supplier: Any sub-contractor working with Applied Language Solutions on the delivery of services will be closely managed by an experienced team, overseen by Public Services Director, [redacted]. "
    That's Richard Loyer, see:
    http://www.appliedlanguage.com/interpreting_services/language_courses.aspx
    http://www.appliedlanguage.com/about_us/news/als-wins-peterborough-nhs-contract.aspx
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/richard-loyer/5/1a0/463
    But Mr Richard Samuel Loyer has never been a director of Applied Language Solutions!
    This is your excuse to get out - BREECH OF CONTRACT!

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  • 20th February, 2012.
    Dear Ms Carrad,
    SPSI wrote to the manager of the MoJ's Interpretation Project, Louisa Carrad:
    SPSI repeats its willingness to cooperate and secure a better service that we are certain, given Cambridgeshire Constabulary and WITS, that we can secure savings well in excess of 40% p.a. whilst guaranteeing quality and that the CJS is not paralysed by the current chaos. We ascribe the several instances of cases adjourned, interpreters not turning up or showing their inability to tackle the task that we are not confronted with teething problems but to a fundamentally flawed approach against which we warned repeatedly. It is nothing short of a shocking waste of public money and certainly contrary to public interest.
    SPSI also attaches a copy of the letter sent by V. Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, to the Chairman of APCI, Geoffrey Buckingham that shows the repeated assurances uttered and written by MoJ officials and ministers that the new system complies with the EU directive 2010 on interpreting has no credibility.
    I am ccing your colleagues Julie Homer and Graham Anderson as well as other interested parties and organisations.

    Yours sincerely,
    Prof. G. A. Makin
    Chairman
    SPSI Ltd.

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  • After winning the monopoly - sorry, 'contract' - ALS was bought out by Capita Group, a Tory party donor. The whole thing has been a scam from the beginning by the Tories to make them and their mates richer. No-one would listen to us, but luckily the absolute shambles of a system is making the legal profession back our protests. Keep protesting - we cannot allow this disgraceful scandal to continue!

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  • ALS is a joke. Please believe me, they offer people tier 1 jobs who have never been assessed or security cleared. I know two people who have been offered tier 1 jobs and they were surprised because one of them was in tier 3 and the second one was placed in tier 2 without his knowledge and without ever taking part in ALS's assessment.

    They are desparately trying to show that everything is fine, but soon they will soil their nappies following their teething problems.

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  • There are two factual errors in this piece that we feel we must correct as they are misleading.

    Firstly, the North West Police Forces contract with ALS was not set up as a "pilot" scheme relating to the MoJ. This agreement was in place following an independent procurement exercise and the two are unrelated.


    Secondly, none of those police forces named above "ditched" ALS at any time and it is unclear which “disasters” the author is referring to. Following a Judicial Review it was found that an Equality Assessment wasn't completed by the Police prior to awarding the language services contract to ALS. This Equality Assessment was subsequently carried out in full, during which time ALS continued to provide services to the North West Police Forces. These forces all continue to use ALS as a provider of language services today.

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