February 07, 2013
By Ofer Tirosh
The court translation scandal in the United Kingdom is hardly new news. But the upheavel does get more interesting everday.
New news on that topic is that Applied Language Solutions (ALS), the firm which was contracted by the UK Ministry of Justice actually featured a pet dog on it's list of available translators. Yes, you heard that right. The UK Ministry of Justice contracted with a translation firm that featured a DOG on it's translator database. The firm also listed anyone who registered on the firm's website as a registered interpreter, without first checking their qualifications.
So what's the going rate for canine translation services? £42 million apparently. The interpreters contract awarded to this firm amounted to £42 million and ended up causing delays, no shows and confusion for the UK court system.
Margaret Hodge, a chairwoman on Commons Committee of Public Accounts, said the interpreter project was an “object-lesson in how not to contract out a public service” as “almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong”.
ALS was taken over by Capita last year, and their failure to hold up their end of the bargain with the contract only ended up costing them £2,200. Many fear this small punishment will allow other firms to get away with overpromising and not delivering.
More information about the UK translation issue can be found at The Telegraph, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9742685/Total-chaos-after-pet-dog-counted-on-translators-database.html
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