Andy Slaughter (Shadow Minister (Justice); Hammersmith, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice
(1) what arrangements have been put into place to make up for problems with the provision of translators by Applied Language Solutions;
(2) whether he has asked Applied Language Solutions to provide qualifications and background for each of its translators;
(3) how many people were remanded in custody at bail hearings as a result of an interpreter not being available, in the last period for which figures are available.
Crispin Blunt (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation); Reigate, Conservative)
The information is as follows:
(1) We are committed to ensuring the rights and needs of those who require interpreters are safeguarded and we have asked the contractor to take urgent steps to improve performance. In addition, as a short term measure, courts and tribunals have reverted to the old booking system for short-notice assignments.
(2) I have not requested this information. The contractor is obliged to ensure that the interpreters they use have appropriate qualifications, skills, experience and are appropriately vetted. Should any concerns arise about the quality, qualifications or background of individual interpreters there is a robust complaints mechanism.
(3) This information is not collected.