Law and the justice system

The Ministry of Justice’s language services contract

We publish the results of our investigation into the contracting out of language services in the justice system.

In August 2011, the Ministry of Justice signed a new framework agreement for language services with a company called Applied Language Solutions (ALS). Under that agreement, a range of justice sector bodies entered into contracts with ALS for the provision of specific interpretation and translation services.

On 30 January 2012, the largest of those agreements, for the Ministry, which is worth an estimated £90 million over five years, became operational and immediately faced operational difficulties.

Following this, the National Audit Office received correspondence from a number of individuals, including MPs, whistle-blowers and the public, asking us to look into what had happened. This memorandum sets out the results of our investigation.

September 2012