While CapitaTI has been fined just £46,319 for failing to provide interpreters to courts under the Ministry of Justice Framework Agreement, Professional Interpreters For Justice (PI4J) has assessed the true cost to the taxpayer of these failures as being a staggering £17 million, on the basis of the MoJ's own statistics.
Calling for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to question the MoJ's claims that the contract is saving £15 million at its meeting with MoJ representatives on 27 January, PI4J has highlighted the findings of the National Audit Office report which states that the proportion of court interpreting bookings fulfilled by Tier 3 interpreters, who have only basic training and no formal qualifications, has risen from 3% in October 2012 to 10% in November 2013. Over 1,400 cases went ahead in November with interpretation from these unqualified workers.
ITI's Chief Executive Paul Wilson has raised the issue of CapitaTI's use of sub-contractors, and asked why there is no independent scrutiny of the company's claims that its interpreters are capable of delivering a service that serves justice.
These questions were taken up by PAC chair Rt. Hon. Margaret Hodge MP and her colleagues during their questioning of the MoJ officials today. A recording of the session can be viewed at parliament.tv.
The full PI4J Press Release can be found below.