The current monopoly service provider of courtroom interpreting has failed to repeat the success of meeting its key performance target, according to latest figures from the Ministry of Justice.
Four years after the controversial outsourcing of courtroom interpreting to a single contractor, Capita Translation and Interpreting finally met its 98% target in the last quarter of 2015.
However, statistics published by the ministry yesterday show that it completed 97% of requests for language services between January and March this year.
Capita TI’s contract expires on 30 October and will be replaced with new arrangements.
International language services company Thebigword, formed in Leeds, has won contracts to provide face-to-face interpretation, and written translation and transcription services.
The contract for non-spoken language services has reportedly been offered to Cambridge firm Clarion Interpreting Limited.
The contract for independent quality assurance has reportedly been offered to The Language Shop, a business originally set up by the London Borough of Newham.
The ministry says contracts were offered to its preferred bidders in May and will be signed ‘in due course’.
The statistics show that the most common cause for complaint between January and March was ‘interpreter was late’, which accounted for 160 of the 440 complaints received. The number of total complaints received increased by 10 from the previous quarter.
There were 30 ‘proven’ complaints on interpreter quality, compared with 40 complaints between October and December last year.
The majority of total complaints came from tribunals. The complaint rate at criminal courts was less than 1%.
Interpreter availability accounted for less than 1% (110) of the total number of ineffective trials in the Crown court and magistrates’ court combined.
The total number of off-contract service requests fell from 240 in the last quarter of 2015 to 220 between January and March.