Interpreters welcome ALS probe

Date published: 20 July 2012

PROFESSIONAL bodies have welcomed the announcement of a parliamentary inquiry into the multi-million-pound contract for court interpreting services awarded to Delph-based Applied Language Solutions (ALS).

ALS won the five-year government contract, which covers many interpretation services for the justice system, from face-to-face interpreting to language services for the deaf and blind.

The deal, which was expected to save £18 million a year, has been criticised for providing a service that is “getting worse not better”.

ALS, which began operating as the sole contractor for language services in February, was bought for £7.5 million by Capita in December. ALS chief executive Gavin Wheeldon and other senior executives have left the business in recent weeks.

The scheme has been plagued by reports of translators failing to turn up or making mistakes, leading to delays in court cases. Committee hearings are expected to take place at Westminster in September.

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