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Departmental Translation Services

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent by his Department on translation and interpretation services in 2007-08, broken down by language. (205179)

Information on how much was spent on translation services and interpreters in different languages is not separately recorded and could be ascertained only at a disproportional cost.

Total costs spent on translation services and interpreters for each part of the Department in 2007-08 are as follows:

MoJ HQ (including former DCA)

Translation Services: £272,877

Interpreters: £22,652,683

The majority of MoJ HQ spend on interpreters is for the payments made from central legal aid fund to interpreters in defence cases.


HMCS spent £200,000 on translation services. HMCS would only be able to identify spend on interpreters at a disproportionate cost.


Translation Services: £5,552

Interpreters: £5,057,554


The OPG only use one natural account code to capture expenditure on translation services and interpreters and there is no split between different languages. The total for that account for the 2007-08 financial year was £65,500.


OCJR spent £448 on translation services and nothing on interpreters.

NOMS Centre

NOMS spent £32,000 on interpreters. NOMS do not separately identify expenditure on translation services within their accounts and data may be provided only at a disproportionate cost.


The Prison Service does not record this information to the degree of detail required to answer this question. Spend on translation services is captured as Professional Advice. This category of spend also captures other professional advice such as legal fees etc. Even to collate an estimate of likely spend, would involve asking all prison and HQ units to check contracts and or invoices, these individual returns would then need to be collated and checked for reasonableness at the centre. The cost of this sort of exercise could be provided only at disproportionate cost.