Applied Language Solutions

Justice written question – answered on 14th November 2011.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice

(1) what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of Applied Language Solutions with Principle 8 of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998 in respect of storage of translators' personal details and communication of information relating to the investigation of criminal offences; and if he will make a statement;

(2) whether Applied Language Solutions has a (a) data centre and (b) call centre in India;

(3) if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's contract with Applied Language Solutions;

(4) what assessment his Department has made of the (a) use of mezzanine funding, (b) creditors amounts falling due within one year and (c) general financial viability of Applied Language Solutions prior to awarding it a contract for translation services; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice) (Prisons and Probation)

Applied Learning Solutions (ALS) were assessed to ensure compliance with data protection regulations during the pre-qualification stage of the competition. All ALS offices, wherever their location, meet the requirements of data protection. Schedule 4 of the DPA is explicit that Principle 8 does not apply when “The data subject has given his consent to the transfer”. The terms and conditions of registration as a linguist with Applied Language Solutions (ALS) provide for positive consent to personal data being shared across ALS's offices, irrespective of location, and this is explicitly stated. Any linguist who agrees to these terms and conditions has given permission for their details to be shared outside of the EEA.

Applied Language Solutions do have a data centre and call centre in India.

A redacted copy of the framework agreement is available in the public domain on the Business Link Contracts Finder website at the following address:

http://www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/Common/View%20Notice.aspx?site_=1000&lang=en&noticeid=264052&fs=true

The Ministry of Justice assesses the use of mezzanine funding dependent upon circumstances. In the case of ALS it was considered that their funding and financial position was and remains consistent with a striving, young company which, with appropriate financial aid provided by the mezzanine funding mechanism, is able to provide innovative and technical solutions. The assessment of creditors falling due within one year is nil. The general financial assessment of the company was considered during the pre-qualification stage of the tender process. This involved looking at available financial and other information and was entirely in keeping with usual practice.

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