To ask the Secretary of State for Justice
(1) when he was made aware of problems with the provision of translators to the courts service by Applied Language Solutions; and if he will make a statement;
(2) whether (a) he, (b) other Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department had any involvement in the acquisition of Applied Language Solutions by Capita; and if he will make a statement;
(3) whether providers of interpretation and translation services to the courts are required to undertake Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks on their employees; and whether Applied Language Solutions undertakes CRB checks on its interpreters;
(4) what long-term measures he plans to implement to ensure that Applied Language Solutions provides qualified interpreters to the courts service.
The information is as follows.
(1) Ministers were made aware of difficulties with the service provided by Applied Language Solutions on
(3) The contractor is required to ensure appropriate Criminal Records Bureau checks are undertaken.
(4) The Ministry have made clear to the contractor that the problems must be addressed immediately. The contractor is taking urgent steps to improve performance including providing additional staff to deal with bookings, further targeted recruitment of interpreters in key languages and improvements to the call handling and complaints process. The Ministry is monitoring performance on a daily basis.