With only a fortnight to go until Capita’s stewardship of courtroom interpreting comes to an end, latest government statistics show the monopoly provider missing its key performance target yet again.
The Ministry of Justice’s latest quarterly update shows that, between April and June this year, Capita Translation and Interpreting achieved a 96% success rate in the number of completed service requests.
Four years after the controversial outsourcing of courtroom interpreting to a single contractor, Capita TI has met the 98% contractual requirement only once - in the last quarter of 2015. The latest success rate is also a percentage point lower than the success rate achieved in the first quarter of this year.
However, in some good news, there were 10 fewer ‘proven’ complaints between April and June, compared with the previous quarter. The ministry’s bulletin states that the complaints rate has fallen from 4% in 2013 to just over 1% in the second quarter of this year.
The most common cause of complaint was ‘interpreter was late’, accounting for nearly a third of the 430 complaints between April and June. Of complaints on 'interpreter quality' 30 were ‘proven’.
The proportion of service requests not fulfilled as a result of ‘suppliers’ action’ - including ‘not fulfilled by supplier’ and ‘supplier did not attend’ categories - increased by one percentage point on the previous quarter.
Of the 38,700 completed requests between April and June, 1,200 were not fulfilled by the contractor. There were 5,600 requests cancelled as a result of ‘customer action’.
Capita TI’s contract expires on 30 October. Leeds-headquartered international language services company thebigword will take over face-to-face and telephone interpretation, and translation and transcription services from 31 October.
Cambrige firm Clarion UK will provide non-spoken language services, such as British Sign Language.
The Language Shop, a business originally set up by the London borough of Newham, has been awarded the contract for independent quality assurance.
Changes to the way the ministry publishes the language interpreter and translation statistics means that Capita TI's performance in the last four months of its contract will not be known until March next year.