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House of Commons Hansard
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Departmental Translation Services
25 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on translation services by her Department in (a) Ribble Valley, (b) Lancashire and (c) the UK in each of the last five years. [324418]

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The DWP provides a range of language translation services for customers across Great Britain (as Northern Ireland is excluded), namely:

1. Face to face.

2. Telephone.

3. Translating by a range of services which includes the translation of departmental information leaflets and other documents that are provided to customers in a range of ethnic languages, audio and Braille, as well as all publications for Welsh-speaking customers living in Wales.

4. We are also able to offer an ad-hoc service to convert documents into Easy Read format. Spend for Easy Read has in the past been included within other category spend and so cannot be identified without incurring disproportionate cost.

The contractual arrangements for the services have been developed over a number of years and as a result spend has not been applicable for some of these services in each of the last five years or data have not been able to be gathered for spend during some years. Disproportionate cost would be incurred in trying to identify such spend.

We are unable to identify spend for specific geographic areas, such as the Ribble Valley and Lancashire, without incurring disproportionate cost.

The total spend information is given in the following table:

£

Type of translation service

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Face to face and telephone

2,967,756

3,443,334

4,496,008

3,515,722

3,761,765

Ethnic document translation

n/a

120,720

267,500

134,945

1459,554

Welsh

30,855

20,766

50,759

65,789

66,755

Braille

n/a

n/a

n/a

45,309

59,522

Audio

n/a

n/a

n/a

35,572

33,397

Easy Read

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total

2,998,611

3,584,820

4,814,267

3,797,337

4,380,993

n/a = not available without incurring disproportionate cost as data not held centrally or is combined within other category data and not possible to separate. 1 This figure includes all translation spend for the International Pensions Centre (IPC) which previously was not held centrally—total £381,370.59 for 2008-09.