Interpreters - 659/10
Dated: 07 Jun 2011
Date of request: 21/10/2010
Date of response: 03/11/2010
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')
Thank you for your email dated 21 October 2010 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
"These questions relate to the award of a contract for interpreting services to ITL North-east Ltd, which was the subject of a letter to interpreters currently on the police list, which was sent on different dates to different interpreters
Did the requirements for the bids expressly cover legal interpreting as well as NHS interpreting?
Was the contract advertised in line with EU procurement directives?
Was an impact study carried out by Northumbria Police with regard to outsourcing Police interpreters?
What consultation took place with other stakeholders in the profession?
Did the terms of the bid include any reference to remuneration, in accordance with the reply shown below which reiterates what has already been said in ministerial statements and in discussions with interpreter organisations on numerous occasions? Was any indication given as to what would be considered reasonable remuneration?
In the light of the above, has ITL given an indication of its plans in this respect and has any provision been made for negotiation of any sort between ITL and interpreters? This is surely an occasion for a collective agreement. If the matter is left to individual interpreters to negotiate their own rates, I do not need to spell out the consequences.
In all, how many bids were received from suppliers meeting the requirements shown in the supplied table extract?
On the 26 October a further question was then asked:
Please could you tell us what other agencies besides ITL were given the chance to bid for the police contract?"
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. This information has been provided by the Procurement Department.
The Framework Contract was let by the NHS, on behalf of NHS Trusts, and the three north east Police Forces. This was stated in all documentation. Tenders were invited from suppliers to provide Translation and Interpretation services on behalf of these organisations.
All interpreters working on Northumbria’s contract will be required to have a Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) and/or an alternative qualification as follows: an MA in Interpreting and Translation, have sat and passed the Metropolitan Police test.
The NHS Framework was let in accordance with the EU Procurement Directive.
The force does not employ any interpreters and therefore is not outsourcing this service. It is simply changing the way it procures interpreters and is intending to procure interpreters from an organisation now, rather than selecting interpreters from a list.
As with any contract, a business case for change was developed assessing the anticipated benefits and any associated risks. It was considered prudent to firstly undertake a six month trial of the service before committing fully to the arrangement.
Many organisations including the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) see benefits in moving to this type of arrangement.
Extensive discussions were undertaken internally. Interpreters on the National register which we currently use were informed of the decision and also the MOJ and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) have been informed of our plans.
The remuneration paid to interpreters will be a matter between the company and the individual interpreter. As long as the company complies with statutory minimum wage requirements and provides the services to the required standard then the remuneration to interpreters is not something we can get involved in.
As mentioned above remuneration paid to interpreters will be a matter between the company and the individual interpreter. All Interpreters that we have used over the last 12 months have been approached and advised of the intended new arrangements. Although we would welcome these interpreters engaging with ITL that will be the individuals decision.
Any service issues will come out during the trial.
11 suppliers were accepted as approved suppliers under the NHS PRONE Framework. The Force assessed the capabilities of all these organisations and concluded that two companies, were capable of providing the full range of services and meeting the Force’s specific requirements.
The following organisations were selected as approved suppliers under the PRONE Framework. The Framework contained sufficient information in order to assess each offering and select the most economically advantageous solution for Northumbria Police :
Everyday Language Solutions
Language Point ( Sunderland Council)
Newcastle Interpreting Service (PCT)
The Big Word
Please note this request has been aggregated with FOI 662/10, submitted by a colleague of yours within the same organisation, Unite the Union. The Fees Regulations state that two or more requests to one public authority can be aggregated for the purposes of calculating costs if they are:
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