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Departmental Translation Services

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on translation services in 2008, broken down by area of allocation. (263213)

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


Home Office, including UKBA


Identity and Passport Service


Criminal Records Bureau


The figures cannot be broken down by allocation, without incurring disproportionate cost.

The offer of interpreter services was introduced in the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) 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