Ministry of Justice language services: FUBAR?

Interpreters in the UK have been up in arms over the Ministry of Justice’s 2011 language services framework agreement with a company formerly called Applied Language Solutions (ALS). The service in question was court interpreting.

The National Audit Office has now published the results of its investigation into the contracting out of language services in the justice system, and the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee discussed the matter yesterday, 15 October 2012.

Download the National Audit Office report on Ministry of Justice language services contract (pdf, 352KB)

Watch the meeting of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on Ministry of Justice Language Services.

I can think of quite a few Italian public sector organisations who have made just as much as — nay, more of — a mess of their language-service outsourcing. At significant cost to the public accounts and to the quality of their communications.

I’m sure they know who they are. But do they care?

By the way: FUBAR is military slang for “fucked up beyond all reason”.

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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