Welsh Language

Justice written question – answered on 17th June 2008.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the level of demand for the services provided by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental bodies to be provided in the Welsh language; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Michael Wills Michael Wills Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

A survey conducted across the Ministry of Justice and a sample of our agencies and non-departmental bodies show variable levels of demand for service provision in the Welsh language, depending in part on the services provided and whether they are provided directly in Wales. The following table gives further information.

In accordance with the Welsh Language Act 1993, the Ministry of Justice has prepared a Welsh Language Scheme, which will be put out to public consultation once it has been cleared by the Welsh Language Board. It will be formally adopted, with any necessary changes, after consultation has been completed.

In the period before the Welsh language policy is formally adopted, the Department, in the conduct of its public business in Wales, applies the principle that the English and Welsh languages should be treated on a basis of equality so far as is appropriate in the circumstances and reasonably practicable.

Ministry of Justice organisation Welsh language service provision Indicator of take-up level in last 12 months
Ministry of Justice The draft MoJ Welsh Language Scheme has been prepared and will be put out to public consultation once cleared by the Welsh Language Board. The Best Value In Probation consultation paper was published on the MoJ website on 9 April 2008 in English and Welsh. Between 9 April 2008 and 11 June 2008 there were: 76 page views of the Welsh consultation paper and 41 page views of the Welsh questionnaire. These compared to 1,824 page views of the English consultation paper pdf and 755 page views of the English questionnaire. To date no requests have been made for hard copies of the Welsh language consultation paper. The consultation exercise will close on 2 July 2008.
Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS) HMCS has its own published Welsh Language Scheme Most of the HMCS website is available in Welsh. Ensures courts provide sufficient copies of bi-lingual customer information leaflets to meet local demand. Spent £112,000 on Welsh language translations.
Welsh Language Unit, Her Majesty's Courts Service Provides Welsh translation and interpretation services for HMCS, MoJ and her agencies. Is covered by HMCS Welsh Language Scheme. Translations completed for HMCS: 1,621. Translations completed for MoJ and her agencies (excluding HMCS): 263. County court cases: 55 cases used Welsh Language interpreters. Bench and associated meetings: Interpreters provided eight times.
National Offender Management Service (formerly HM Prison Service and National Probation Service) A review is under way of the published NOMS Wales Welsh Language Scheme in light of recent restructuring of NOMS Wales and HM Prison Service into NOMS Cymru. Each probation area in Wales has its own Welsh Language Scheme. In accordance with an HMPS key audit baseline, the Prisoners' Information Book provided for all prisoners is printed automatically in Welsh (along with other languages) and placed in all prison libraries.
Tribunals Service Has own published Welsh Language Scheme and Welsh speaking judiciary and administrators. Uses the services of the HMCS Welsh Language Unit. A small number of requests for Welsh language translations have been received in the period in question. In 2007-08, £9,800 was spent on translations into Welsh.
The Boundary Commission for Wales Has own Welsh Language Scheme. Publishes documents bilingually in hard copy and on its website. No telephone calls or correspondence was received in Welsh for the period in question; however £600 was spent on translations into Welsh.
Office for Criminal Justice Reform Is currently covered by Home Office Welsh Language Scheme. Have produced many standard publications in Welsh in last 12 months.
Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Is developing/planning to develop its own Welsh Language Scheme. The JAC takes the initiative to translate into Welsh its material on judicial appointments in Wales. £3,900 spent on translation into Welsh in last 12 months.
The National Archives Has its own Welsh Language policy. Responsible for Her Majesty's Stationery Office which publishes in Welsh all legislation passed by the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government as part of its statutory responsibilities under the Government of Wales Acts). There were 16,000 page views on the official legislation website for Wales in (provided in Welsh) between 1 June 2007 and 31 May 2008. This is 4 per cent. of the page views in both languages (total: 369,000). It is difficult to provide data on the level of demand for legislation in other formats (such as hard, printed copies) as they are printed in both English and Welsh within the same document.
Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council (AJTC) (formerly Council on Tribunals or CoT) The Welsh Committee of the AJTC came into being on 1 June 2008. The AJTC is covered by the, MoJ draft Welsh Language Scheme. No requests received for materials in Welsh in specified period. In June 2007, the CoT ran a conference in Wales at which Welsh language documentation and simultaneous translation were provided in accordance with established conventions.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Does not have a Welsh Language Scheme but automatically translates its most important publications into Welsh. 47 Welsh versions sent out of the Guide to the 2001 Compensation Scheme between October 2007 and February 2008.
Office of the Public Guardian Has own Welsh language scheme. Most OPG guidance booklets and the Lasting Power of Attorney forms are provided automatically in Welsh. No specific requests received for translations into Welsh since OPG established in October 2007.
Law Commission Is covered by MoJ draft Welsh Language Scheme. No requests received for Welsh translations of any Law Commission publications.
Youth Justice Board Has own Welsh Language policy. Publishes bilingually all strategic documents and service user documentation for use in Wales; the recent YJB national conference had simultaneous translation into Welsh. Conducted a review of Welsh Language service provision in the secure estate and in Youth Offending Teams August 2007 to February 2008.

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