Official Statistics

Quarterly statistics on the use of language services in courts and tribunals - June 2013

Statistics bulletin, Quarterly update to June 2013




The data presented in this bulletin are the face to face language services provided to HM Courts & Tribunals Services (HMCTS) and National Offender Management Service (NOMS), covering requests for services made and completed between the start of the national language services framework on 30 January 2012 and 31 July 2013.

These services are supplied under a contract with Capita Translation and Interpreting (TI); formerly known as Applied Language Solutions (ALS). The bulletin covers courts in England and Wales, all UK tribunals not transferred to devolved governments, NOMS prisons and MoJ and NOMS HQ. Requests made before 30 January 2012 were part of the pilot phase, and are not reported here.

Main findings

During the period covered by this bulletin (30 January 2012 to 30 June 2013), there were 196, 400 completed requests for language services. There were 118,800 completed requests made 2012, with 77,600 completed requests made in the first two quarters of 2013.

The number of completed requests made under the contract has increased in each of the last four quarters. In the most recent quarter (Q2 2013), 23% more completed requests were made when compared with the same quarter a year ago – from 32,400 in Q2 2012 compared with 39,800 in Q2 2013.

Presenting a single success rate does not provide the whole picture on the changes in the operation of the contract since commencement. Over the first two months of the contract (“Q1 2012”), including the period 30 January to 31 March), the contractor was able to fulfil the request or the requesting customer failed to attend for 76% of non-cancelled requests. In Q2 2012, this success rate increased to 92% and remained relatively flat for the remainder of 2012. However, in Q1 2013, the success rate decreased to 86% - the fall coinciding with the contractor reducing the mileage rate paid to interpreter. In the latest quarter, Q2 2013, the success rate has increased to 87% of completed requests.

During the period covered by this bulletin (30 January 2012 to 30 June 2013), there were 9,800 complaints recorded relating to completed requests made. There were 5,700 complaints made in 2012, with 4,100 complaints made in the first two quarters of 2013.

The number of complaints made decreased during 2012, from 1,900 in the first two months of the contract (“Q1 2012”) down to 1,100 during Q4 2012. However, complaint volumes increased to 2,150 in Q1 2013 – a high since the contract begin –before decreasing again to 2,000 in the latest quarter.

The complaint rate decreased from a complaint relating to 11% of completed requests in Q1 2012, down to 3% of requests by Q4 2012. However, the rate increased to 6% with the increased volumes of complaints in Q1 2013, before declining again to 5% in Q2 2013.

In Q2 2013 – the first quarter for which data is held centrally – a total of 2,929 off contract bookings were made by criminal courts, civil & family courts and tribunals. This accounted for just under 7% of all bookings made for languages services in that period.

Pre-release list

The bulletin was produced and handled by the ministry’s analytical professionals and production staff. Pre-release access of up to 24 hours was granted to the following persons: Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for the Courts and Legal Aid; Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation; Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims; Permanent Secretary; Director General, Finance and Corporate Services, Corporate Performance Group; Director General, Transforming Justice, Corporate Performance Group; Director General, Criminal Justice Group; Director of Analytical Services; Deputy Director, Interpreters Project; Procurement Manager, Ministry of Justice Procurement; two policy officials, Intermediaries, Disclosure and Interpreter Policy; Chief Statistician; Head of News; Chief Press Officer – Criminal Justice Desk; two Press Officers; two Special Advisors; five Private Secretaries and five Assistant Private Secretaries.

Published 31 October 2013