Crisis deepens for controversial translation agency ALS – as a court interpreter‘s pet rabbit manages to register for work. Lettuce explain.

Like many registered interpreters, Marie Adamova was not a happy bunny when the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced that it would be outsourcing all court interpreting assignments to Manchester-based firm Applied Language Solutions (ALS). But instead of protesting or writing to her local MP, Adamova decided to highlight the problems in a more hare-raising fashion. She took to the computer and registered her pet rabbit Jajo as a new court interpreter with ALS, hoping that the company wouldn’t be so silly as to let an animal work for their company. Bizarrely, Jajo received emails from ALS welcoming him as an interpreter, and he was even invited to a very important date – an online seminar to learn more about his new role. It was obvious to Marie that ALS hadn’t checked Jajo’s credentials before he was signed up, like thousands of others.

“I wasn’t surprised he was accepted because I knew they were not going to check anything.

“It’s kind of a joke but there’s a serious point behind it. Anyone can register on this website and they will send an offer for a job no matter who you are.

“They don’t do any checks or see qualifications, it’s a Mickey Mouse office.” ALS would not confirm if Mickey Mouse, or Bugs Bunny, were working at their office.

Adamova, who has been working as an interpreter for five years and lives in Birmingham, decided to pull the stunt in order to prove to the MoJ that the company is incapable of managing the £300m contract, as interpreters who are unverified and unqualified are not only being signed up but sent out to work on court cases and tribunal hearings. As a consequence, some foreign suspects have been allowed to walk free from custody this month as the shortage of suitable interpreters means they couldn’t even be questioned.

“They are not checking at all,” added a furious Marie.

“They take on ex-cleaners and people who have only been in the country for a few weeks.

“People are getting jobs when they aren’t even fluent in English. There was one lady employed as an interpreter who went down to the court and didn’t understand the person so couldn’t do it.

“And there was a chap who allegedly spoke eight languages but he couldn’t even interpret a few sentences.”

Jajo was registered on the website in August, but only now has he been removed from the website by ALS. Fortunately for Jajo, the upcoming Easter holidays should provide him with plenty of work to feed his carrot and lettuce diet.

A spokeswoman from ALS claimed that they could not find Jajo on their system:

“Anyone can register their interest in becoming an interpreter for ALS.

“But they are still required to undergo assessment, security and qualification checks before being accepted as an ALS interpreter to work within the criminal justice system.

“I suspect that Jajo might fail such checks.”