UK Police Tries New Approach in GBP 100M Interpreting Tender

UK Police Interpreting Tender 2020

A GBP 100m (USD 130m) contract, largely for interpretation services rendered to 49 police agencies in the UK over seven years, is slated to commence in September 2020.

The RFP, published on February 26, 2020, stated that the contract will be led by the Leicestershire Police and run via Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), as opposed to a traditional framework.

This means suppliers can apply to join the contract at any time until the DPS expires at 12 noon of August 31, 2027. Any vendor that meets the selection criteria must be admitted onto the DPS.

A completely electronic system, the DPS offers language service providers (LSPs) a number of benefits. For instance, if an LSP is unable to meet the selection criteria when the contract begins, that LSP can evaluate its processes, finances, and capabilities and then apply to be admitted onto the DPS at a later date. This makes the DPS more SME-friendly.

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The GBP 100m contract comprises six lots and, according to the notice, “price is not the only award criterion and all criteria are stated only in the procurement documents.”

Lot 1 is for Face-to-Face Interpretation, usually for a person in police custody for purposes of evidence. More often than not, the interpreter will be required to render the service within two hours from request.

Lot 2, Translation or Transcription, will enable UK Police personnel to translate written material, review and revise previously translated documents, and convert audio files and other electronic media into written and electronic text documents.

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Lot 3 is for Telephone Interpreting “on a non-evidential basis.” Lot 4 is for British Sign Language and requires the interpreter to be physically present. Lot 5 is for Video or Remote and an interpreter’s services may be used in evidence.

Lot 6, labeled “Managed Service,” is for UK Police authorities “who wish to appoint a service provider to manage all or a proportion of their requirements for face to face, translation/transcription, telephone, British sign language and video/remote.”

The Leicestershire Police will lead and award the contract for 38 other police forces in England, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Police Scotland, four Welsh police authorities, and four national special police forces in the UK including the British Transport Police and the National Police Air Service.