First-time posters: please review the site's moderation policy

I've heard that UK's Ministry of Justice MoJ decided to outsource court interpretation services to a private company. Apparently there have been protests.

Can somebody give me some background information?

asked 20 Mar '12, 06:39

Holger's gravatar image


edited 20 Mar '12, 09:48

Delete's gravatar image

Delete ♦

In an attempt to cut costs, the UK Ministry of Justice decided in July 2011 to outsource all translation and interpretation services in the justice sector to one commercial supplier, an agency called Applied Language Solutions (ALS), with awarded value of GBP 300 million.

Here is the Framework Agreement signed with ALS in August 201.

While the company says despite some "teething troubles" it is operating well, 60% of the 2,300 of those on the National Register of Public Service Interpreters are refusing to work for it after their pay was slashed.

Previously they received a flat fee of £85, a quarter-hourly rate after three hours, and were paid for travel time and expenses - but this has been replaced by hourly fees in three tiers of £16, £20 and £22 plus no travel time and reduced expenses.

The interpreters claim some translators either lack the competence for the job or fail to turn up at all.

AIIC President Linda Fitchett explains why the International Association of Conference Interpreters backs UK court and police interpreters:

Have a look at the huge press coverage this is generating in the UK with protests from judges, lawyers and interpreters!

Monika Kokoszycka also published a very comprehensive report on AIIC's Interpreting the World Facebook page:

permanent link

answered 20 Mar '12, 06:52

Angela's gravatar image


edited 05 Apr '13, 13:49

An insightful complement to the facts linked to above is this blog post dated 22 March 2012 by a UK-based translator:

(22 Mar '12, 11:57) Vincent Buck

A number of contracts for court interpreting in Spain have just been awarded to another agency with a similar record. What is most enlightening is the weight given to the various award criteria. Here they are for you to judge:

Award criteria:

The most economically advantageous tender in terms of

  1. Price/Precio:. Weighting Hasta 80
  2. Technical project/Proyecto técnico:. Weighting Hasta 20
  3. Service management quality/Calidad gestión servicio. Weighting Hasta 15
  4. Staff qualifications/Formación del profesional. Weighting Hasta 5

Another illustration of "when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys", I suppose.

permanent link

answered 04 May '12, 03:20

Danielle's gravatar image


Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 20 Mar '12, 06:39

question was seen: 12,373 times

last updated: 05 Apr '13, 13:49 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

about | faq | terms of use | privacy policy | content policy | disclaimer | contact us

This collaborative website is sponsored and hosted by AIIC, the International Association of Conference Interpreters.