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Departmental Translation Services

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department and its agencies have spent on translation services in each of the last 60 months. (254596)

The Department's expenditure on translation and interpretation services is set out in the following table, 2007-08 being the most recent period for which there are audited figures.

£000

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Home Office, including UKBA

13,499

14,903

10,419

9,683

9,636

Identity and Passport Service

3

3

3

6

260

Criminal Records Bureau

0

0

0

13

0

The figures cannot be analysed by month without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Home Office figures in the table, for the financial years 2004-05 to 2007-08, do not include those for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the Office of Criminal Justice and Reform (OCJR), which transferred to Ministry of Justice on 1 April 2007: figures for NOMS and OCJR for 2003-04 could not be deducted from the Home Office total without incurring disproportionate cost.

For the Identity and Passport Service, the offer of interpreter services was introduced when interviews for first time adults became compulsory in 2007-08. Face-to-face interviews for first time applicants are designed to help tackle fraud and ensure the British passport remains among the most secure in the world.

Interviews are tailored to the individual in order to securely establish identity and it is possible that some interviews could require the assistance of an interpreter to help IPS staff satisfy themselves that the person attending is the legitimate passport applicant.