Official Statistics

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

Statistics bulletin, Quarterly update to September 2013


Statistics on the use of language services in courts and tribunals - Q1 2012 - Q3 2013 - tables

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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 30 January 2012 and 30 September 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.

Main findings

During the period covered by this bulletin (January 30 2012 to 30 September 2013), there were a total of 237,700 completed requests for language services. Of these, 118,800 completed requests for language were made in 2012, with a further 118,900 completed requests made during the first three quarters of 2013.

The number of completed requests made under the contract has increased in each quarter since the contract began. In the most recent quarter (Q3 2013), 23% more completed requests were made when compared with the same quarter a year ago – from 33,500 in Q3 2012 compared with 41,300 in Q3 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 – and stood at 87% of completed requests in Q2 2013. In Q3 2013 however, the success rate has increased to 94% of non-cancelled requests. During the period covered by this bulletin (30 January 2012 to 30 September 2013), there were 11,100 complaints recorded relating to completed requests made. There were 5,700 complaints made in 2012, with 5,400 complaints made in the first three quarters of 2013.

The number of complaints made increased to 2,150 in Q1 2013 – a high since the contract began - before decreasing to 2,000 in Q2 2013 and again to 1,300 in Q3 2013. The overall complaint rate decreased from a complaint relating to 6% of completed requests in Q1 2013, down to 5% of completed requests in Q2 2013 and to 3% of requests in Q3 2013. The decrease in complaint rate in Q2 and Q3 coincided with the improvement in the success rate, again coinciding with the settlement in the mileage rate paid to interpreters.

In Q3 2013 – the second quarter for which data is held centrally – a total of 1,349 off contract bookings were made by criminal courts, civil & family courts and tribunals. This accounted for 3% of all bookings made for languages services in Q3 2013, and have decreased in volume by 55% over the latest quarter.

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 16 January 2014