Telephone Interpreting Contract Extension

Reference code: 
PCD 69
Date signed: 
12 October 2016
Authorisation name: 
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Policing and Crime

Executive summary

The MPS is seeking a time-only approval for an extension to the current contract for Telephone Interpreting Services of twelve months. These services are mainly utilised by Police officers and front line services when interacting with the public in the event of a language barrier. The current contract term began 10th January 2011 and following previous extensions is now due to expire on 9th October 2016.  The anticipated cost to be incurred over the next 12 months is within the revised value of the contract.

Recommendation

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC) is asked to approve theextension to the current contract for Telephone Interpreting Services by twelve months at no additional cost to the existing contract.

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

Introduction and background

London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities with over 300 languages spoken in it and more than 50 different communities.

Due to this vast diversity of languages spoken within London, the MPS requires telephone interpreting services to allow relevant police officers and staff to communicate with individuals in situations where there is no common language spoken.

During the last financial year, the service was used by the MPS on 46,063 occasions, telephone interpreting provides a cost effective method to fulfil this requirement.

 

Issues for consideration

The MPS requires telephone interpreting services to allow relevant police officers and staff to communicate with individuals in situations where there is no common language spoken.

The proposed extension will provide adequate time to run a competitive tender process to procure the longer term replacement contract.

Continuity of the services are a legal requirement as the MPS are legally obliged to provide linguistic support for victims, witnesses and detainees via European Directive 64/10, E.C. Human Rights Act, Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 and Equality Act 2010 which includes disability.

The intended route to market for a replacement contract was via a Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Framework. However there have been significant delays in CCS awarding a new Framework.

During this delay period alternative routes to market for the longer term have been identified via the National Collaboration Law Enforcement Procurement Programme which may allow the MPS to cover a wider scope of requirements under one contract including a manged service and communication for members of the public with impaired hearing.

 

Financial Comments

There will be no additional financial commitment for this contract extension as sufficient funds remain from the original award value, which will sufficiently manage the demand for the duration of the twelve months extension period being requested.

 

Legal Comments

It is a legal requirement under PACE 1984, Equalities Act 2010 and Human Rights Act to engage individuals in a language they understand.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is a contracting authority as defined in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (the Regulations).  When awarding public contracts for goods and services valued at £164,176 (relevant threshold) or above, all contracting authorities must do so in accordance with the Regulations. 

Section 6 of the PCR 2015 permits this request, Section 6 ‘Modification of contracts during their term’ Clause 72 (1)(C)(iii), states the following: ‘Contracts and framework agreements may be modified without a new procurement procedure in accordance with this Part in any of the following cases where all of the following conditions are fulfilled: (iii) any increase in price does not exceed 50% of the value of the original contract or framework agreement.’

 

Equality Comments

The MPS are legally obliged to provide linguistic support for victims, witnesses and detainees via European Directive 64/10, E.C. Human Rights Act, Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 and Equality Act 2010 which includes disabilities.

Without this contract extension there will be no contractual cover or services available to those with language barriers and hearing impairments.