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Authorization of interpretors and translators in Sweden Procurement of interpretation and translation services Klas Ericsson Kammarkollegiet.

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Presentation on theme: "Authorization of interpretors and translators in Sweden Procurement of interpretation and translation services Klas Ericsson Kammarkollegiet."— Presentation transcript:

1 Authorization of interpretors and translators in Sweden Procurement of interpretation and translation services Klas Ericsson Kammarkollegiet

2 Kammarkollegiet Oldest public authority in Sweden Founded by Gustav Vasa in 1539 Central authority under the government, department of finance Legal, financial and administrative services, 30 different tasks Our main customers are other public authorities.

3 Community interpreting in Sweden 2004: 2009: 650 000 interpreted hours... … in 120 languages … in 170 languages 1,2 – 1,5 million interpreted hours…

4 State authorization in Sweden since 1976 996 interpreters1 053 authorizationsIn 36 languages 202 interpreters215 court competence in 21 languages 132 interpreters135 medical competencein 18 languages 403 translators473 authorizations 245 translatorsinto 28 languages 174 translatorsfrom 31 languages

5 Authorization – general information 40 languages Application fee: 2 300 SEK (240 EUR) Valid for 5 years

6 Proficiency standards Good spoken command of both Swedish and the target language Good terminological and factual knowledge within social matters, medical care, labour market, general social insurance and everyday law Good interpreting technique High degree of information accuracy Reasonable length of speech unit

7 Tests Umeå Stockholm Lund Göteborg oral 3h 80 % written 5h

8 Proficiency examination - written test AUTHORIZED General background knowledge test: 40-50 questions Terminology test: 100 specialist terms to be translated into Swedish 60 specialist terms and 40 expressions in context to be translated from Swedish COURT/MEDICAL General background knowledge test: 25 questions in the field of law or medicine Terminology test: 100 specialist terms to be translated into Swedish 100 specialist terms to be translated from Swedish

9 Proficiency examination – oral test AUTHORIZED Active interpreting test, at most four role plays Oral examination in interpreting technique and professional ethics COURT/MEDICAL Interpreting in a civil suit as well as in a criminal case in court (role play) Interpreting in a medical care situation relating to a physical illness/disease and in the treatment of a psychiatric or social-medicine care case (role play) Oral examination in specialist background knowledge.

10 National registers Authorized interpreters and translators Trained interpreters

11 The National Procurement Services Our task is to supply coordinated framework agreements at National level for goods and services, Also at Regional and Local level whithin the area of ICT & telecom, The main objective is to generate savings for the tax-payers, Central government authorities should use the framework agreements unless they find other forms of agreements better all in all, Activities are financed by fees. The suppliers pay fees in proportion to turn-over. The economic goal is full coverage of costs, The total turn-over has been approximately 1,2 billion EUR (10,5 - 11 billion SEK) annually.

12 Framework agreements for Interpretation services Contract period 2+1+1 years, (new procurement initiated), Includes the provision and distribution of: Authorized interpreters, Court interpreters, Medical interpreters Other interpreters, Contracts by county, three suppliers (agencies) per county, Call off routine: fixed ranking by county, Annual turn-over: approx. 130 MSEK Largest users are the Police, Courts, Social insurance office, Public employment service and the Prison and probation service.

13 Framework agreements for Translation services Contract period 2+1+1 years, (new procurement is announced), Includes translation services: Subarea 1 – English Subarea 2 – frequent languages Subarea 3 – other languages Three nationwide suppliers (agencies) per subarea, Call off routine: fixed ranking per subarea, Annual turn-over: approx. 25 MSEK Most requested languages: English, Arabic,

14 Why framework agreements? Important contract areas, Great need for services, Convenient and time saving for the authorities to call off services through an agency from the framework agreements, Quality assured suppliers and services, Contracted prices,

15 Observed general problems Lack of certified and qualified interpreters and translators, Court interpretors do not feel requested, Existing training programs do not respond to needs, Authorization is lagging behind in terms of topicality, Poor knowledge of the business among users/ contracting authorities, Approved interpreter tariff only for assignments in some kind of authorities, e.g. courts, uncertainty about benefits, Insecure situation for interpreters and translators, declining remuneration, stressful work, poor advance planning, interpreters are not involved in the procurement process.

16 Observed deficiencies in existing agreements Quality deficiencies – texts are not translated correctly, deficient interpretation, many complaints, inadequate service from agencies, competence is not utilized, cheaper options are offered customers, No follow-up of performance and quality during the contract – requirements are ineffective, credibility of the NPS reduces, Strict ranking – authorities feel obliged always to call off supplier No. 1 even if they have bad experiences of its performance, Too much emphasis on the price in the procurement - leading to; suppliers of low capacity and limited experience, low remuneration to interpreters and translators,

17 The consequences of poor agreements The framework agreement is perceived as inadequate – bad reputation among contracting authorities, distrust of agencies, authorities carry out their own procurements, framework agreements undermined, Skilled interpreters seeking other jobs, leads to lack of competence among agencies, Quality deficiencies can result in threats to legal security, additional administrative work, increased costs.

18 Procurement of translation services announced March 6, 2012 5 language areas, tenders may be submitted on one or more areas, Fixed ranking within each language area, a number of options for the customer to deviate from the ranking, Requirements for translators with advanced knowledge in at least 5 of 12 specified disciplines (law, economics, medicine, etc.) Supplier shall declare the types of documents (articles, agreements, decisions, etc.) they have experience in translating, Requirements for short response times, clear feedback, delivery, availability, etc.

19 Procurement of translation services Supplier must always ensure that the necessary information from customers has been obtained before assignment begins, Requirement of named translators should if possible be met, otherwise the most appropriate for the task. The customer has the right to deselect translators who are not considered appropriate or previously delivered poor quality, Confirmation of orders by 15:00 the next working day, 16:00 the same day if urgent and maximum of 500 words, the same deadlines for declined orders. Requirements for Customer Relationship Management (CRM),

20 Procurement of translation services Requirements for dedicated project manager for each assignment, Requirement to carry out computer-assisted translation with CAT tools, to receive and use a translation memory. Requirements for handling and storage of documents, requirements for information security, The translator must self check and adjust their work prior to delivery. The supplier is responsible for correct delivery. Normal delivery, express delivery, document formats.

21 Procurement of translation services Requirements to provide certified translators in specific language where such are available, Requirements on the translator's professional competence, education and translation experience, Requirements on delivery of statistics to the NPS, Monitoring and verification of requirements in procurement will be made with suppliers on a regular basis during the agreement period,

22 Procurement of translation services Follow up through "Satisfied Customer Index" and by a link to the central NPS website for customers comments; Repeated measurements during the contract period, Authorities may submit comments, Dialogue with the supplier, demand for action plan, Follow up of action plan after 3 months, Written warning if deficiencies not corrected, 6 months quarantine if deficiencies are not corrected within 1 month, After three warnings to the supplier within a single language area, the following sanctions are possible: Demotion to last place in the ranking within the language area, Termination of the Framework Agreement as regards the language area,

23 Prestudy for the procurement of interpretation services – commenced in jan-feb 2012 Activities Reference group meetings - largest users, Survey Mailings to suppliers and contracting authorities, Meetings with current framework suppliers (agencies), Meetings with interpreters associations, Meeting with other stakeholders, Studies of public reports and other procurements.

24 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments Tender areas – Geographical division (by county) is preferred, Fixed ranking (3-5 suppliers) is preferred, possibly call-off by renewed competition for conference interpreting, How to promote the principle of proximity? Higher travel costs will counteract low prices in the procurement. Range of services – Contact and Telephone Interpretation, possibly separate subareas, different suppliers? Conference (simultaneous) interpretation, possibly new service? Sign-language interpretation, quite different conditions and prices.

25 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments Booking and cancellation procedures – What is reasonable time for confirmation of appointed assignments to the customer? Too short time for confirmation (2 h or less) makes it difficult to plan, risk of poorer quality, Confirmation to customers must not be too late - difficulties in rebooking assignments to next supplier in the ranking, Weekly Schedule for the most frequented interpreters? Coordination of assignments at the customer - save time and travel expenses? Important with long-term planning. SMS queries to interpreters - Fair and open, - or - stressful and to the disadvantage of authorized interpreters?

26 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments Booking and cancellation procedures – Allocation of resources - Letting agency decide which interpreter is best suited for the task? Not always an authorized interpreter. Resources must be better used. Requirements for Web-based booking system? Customer can book and receive confirmation immediately, check the status of booking, cancel, complain, become more engaged in the assignment, Cancellation procedures – is it reasonable with a different time frame towards customers respectively interpreters in order to find a new assignment? Is it to be regulated in the framework agreement?

27 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments Remuneration and invoicing – Fixed interpreter tariff for all assignments? Competition only with the agency fee? Interpreters will not be affected negatively, interpreter profession would become more attractive - or - too expensive interpretation services, lower use of interpreters, would not solve the problems with travel time or interpreter shortages at certain times? Minimum charge of 30 minutes? Should interpreters be able to invoice the customer directly and not via the agency? No uncertainty of their rightful compensation, - or - increased administration for authorities? Uniform rules for how the billing will take place is needed.

28 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments Remuneration and invoicing – Differentiated reimbursement to the agency – higher skills give higher compensation – incentives to always offer the highest competence and stimulate continuing education and authorization? Differentiated reimbursement to the intrepretor - normal rate when the interpreter is available, surcharge for beeing present at certain time? Written consent of interpreters for the procurement - conditions for beeing associated to an agency? Interpreters are able to influence the pricing of the tender, - or – a lot of additional work for the agency at the tendering. Is it better to bring in data from the agency on how many interpreters the agency has paid salaries and the proportion of those who were authorized?

29 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments Quality monitoring – Important with opportunities for monitoring and auditing requirements and quality during the contract, We have to make clear in the framework agreement the requirements to be followed up, important with practicable requirements, Requirements must be continuously verified, otherwise a risk that the best bids author win the contract, New evaluation of the quality performance 6-12 months after the award decision? Possibility of cancellation, quarantine, demotion in rank, etc? Deduction of fees at lower delivered competence?

30 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments Skills development and user training – Which basic level does an interpreter need to have to perform assignments? A sufficient level of interpreting competence should be determined, Who is responsible for and provides training? Should agencies provide mentoring to interpreters for working with difficult situations/severe cases? The interpreter need time to prepare for the assignment, important with information from the customer about the assignment.

31 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments Skills development and user training – Important with information and training to interpreter users. Interpreter users have equal responsibility for the interpretation as the individual interpreter, Who will be responsible for the training? How can interest be increased from the authorities? Important with start-up meetings on new contracts for contracting authorities.

32 Key points highlighted in the prestudy– issues and comments New technology – Video interpretation - more secure than telephone interpretation, reduced travel time, benefits for the environment? Who pays for the technology and costs? Telephone Interpretation inappropriate in court, the user must have a choice of interpretation method on needs and situation, Call Centre for telephone interpretation, hardly any authorized interpreters who want to work in a call center? The same remuneration for telephone interpreting as for contact interpreting?

33 Contact information Information about authorization and registration +46 8 7000 800 Ivett G Larsson, Information about the National Procurement Services framework agreements can be found on our webb-site Klas Ericsson,

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