Translation firm’s poor performance charge

Date published: 05 February 2013

DELPH-BASED translation firm ALS faces new allegations of poor performance.

Applied Language Solutions, which was bought out by Capita in 2011, has been dogged by controversy since it landed a £42 million Government courts contract.

Justice Minister Helen Grant says the firm, since renamed Capita Translation and Interpreting, has achieved a 95 per cent performance level. The Professional Interpreters for Justice group — made up of 10 interpreting organisations — rejects that figure and claims it is nearer 50 per cent.

The group is calling on the minister to terminate the firm’s contract, and says about half of the estimated 800 daily assignments for interpreting services in the criminal justice system are not in the Ministry of Justice figures.

The group’s report on the first seven months of the contract - February-August 2012 - said there were 72,043 requests for interpreters by courts and 56,818 were fulfilled — equivalent to only 405 each working day, or half the number of requests.

In 2012 the Ministry of Justice said it would be monitoring performance after a report on the contract’s first three months showed 3,833 unfulfilled requests for interpreters and 2,232 complaints.

Company founder and chief executive Gavin Wheeldon (30) and other senior executives left the business last year.

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