I am one of many professional, qualified and experienced court interpreters who refused to work under the Ministry of Justice’s Framework Agreement which replaced the use of qualified professionals listed on approved national registers with a single agency provider.
Like many of my colleagues I have moved on and now do relatively little interpreting within the justice sector. I focus on other interpreting clients and written translation work.
I believe the Framework Agreement was fundamentally flawed and has led to a significant reduction in standards and de-professionalisation in legal interpreting.
I realise that time has passed and the battle against the Framework Agreement is now history, but the issues remain relevant and impact the current state of public service interpreting, so here are some of my contributions to the debate:
My Open Letter of 26/2/2012 shortly after utter chaos hit the courts following Capita Translation & Interpreting’s national implementation of the contract with “only 280 interpreters, available to work under the contract, compared to the 1,200 that the Ministry estimated were required” (Public Accounts Committee report).
My analysis of the language service statistics published by the Ministry of Justice: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics. The title says it all, but please read the analysis to see if it is justified.
My contribution to the Framework Fantasies series of articles, which points out the absurdity of some of the figures fed to the Ministry of Justice by Capita Translation & Interpreting. I found it quite shocking that senior members of HM Courts and Tribunals Service lent weight to such utter nonsense and that such assertions were quoted in the Houses of Parliament. It makes a mockery of the democratic process in the UK.