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Title: Procurement of interpretation and translation services in Sweden Klas Ericsson Kammarkollegiet


1
Procurement of interpretation and translation
services in Sweden Klas EricssonKammarkolleg
iet
2
Kammarkollegiet
  • Oldest public authority in Sweden, founded 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

650 000 interpreted hours...
in 120 languages
2009
in 170 languages
1,2 1,5 million interpreted hours
4
Authorization general information
  • 40 languages
  • Application fee 2 300 SEK (240 EUR)
  • Valid for 5 years

5
National registers
  • Authorized interpreters and translators ca 1000
    registered
  • Trained interpreters ca 100 registered, ca 600
    educated since 2006

6
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.

7
Framework agreements for Interpretation services
  • Contract period 211 years, (new procurement in
    progress),
  • 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.

8
Framework agreements for Translation
servicesvalid until 12-06-30, new contracts
signed
  • Contract period 211 years,
  • 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,

9
Why framework agreements?
  • Important contract areas,
  • High demand 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,

10
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,
  • Different interpreter tariff for assignments in
    different kind of authorities, uncertainty about
    benefits,
  • Insecure situation for interpreters and
    translators,
  • declining remuneration, stressful work, poor
    advance planning, interpreters are not involved
    in the procurement process.

11
Observed deficiencies in existing agreements
  • Quality deficiencies
  • texts are not translated correctly, deficient
    interpretation,
  • many complaints, inadequate service from
    agencies,
  • competence not always utilized, cheaper options
    offered customers,
  • unnecessarily high travel costs,
  • 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,

12
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.

13
Procurement of translation services
  • announced March 6, 2012
  • 18 tenders
  • high demands on suppliers, evaluation of the
    lowest total price,
  • framework agreement signed with 9 suppliers
    (agencies),
  • agreements will be effective July 1

14
Procurement of translation services
  • 5 language areas??, 5 suppliers in each area,
    additional services of proofreading and
    authentication,
  • 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.

15
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 1500 the next working
    day, 1600 the same day if urgent and maximum of
    500 words,
  • Requirements for Customer Relationship Management
    (CRM),

16
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.

17
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,

18
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,

19
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.

20
Key points highlighted in the prestudy
  • Tender areas
  • Range of services
  • Booking and cancellation procedures
  • Remuneration and invoicing
  • Quality monitoring
  • Skills development and user training
  • New technology

21
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • Tender areas
  • Geographical division (by county) is preferred,
  • Fixed ranking with 3-5 suppliers per county is
    preferred,
  • 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, not included?

22
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • 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,
  • Allocation of resources - letting agency decide
    which interpreter is best suited for the task?
    Not always an authorized interpreter. Resources
    must be better used.

23
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • Booking and cancellation procedures
  • 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 what is reasonable time
    frame towards customers respectively interpreters
    in order to find a new assignment?

24
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • Remuneration and invoicing
  • Minimum level of interpretor fees for all
    assignments - is it legally possible to apply in
    a procurement? Interpreter profession would
    become more attractive but would it solve the
    problems with travel time or interpreter
    shortages at certain times?
  • Should interpreters be able to invoice the
    customer directly and not via the agency? No
    uncertainty of their rightful compensation - but
    increased administration for authorities? Uniform
    rules for how the billing will take place are
    needed.

25
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • 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?
  • 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 - is it better to
    follow up on how many interpreters the agency has
    paid salaries and the proportion of those who
    were authorized?

26
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • 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?

27
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • 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.

28
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • 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.

29
Procurement of interpretation servicesimportant
issues to consider during the procurement
  • 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? Does
    any authorized interpreters want to work in a
    call center?
  • The same remuneration for telephone interpreting
    as for contact interpreting?

30
Contact information
  • Information about authorization and registration
    www.kammarkollegiet.se 46 8 7000 800
  • Information about the National Procurement
    Services framework agreements can be found on our
    webb-site www.avropa.se.
  • Klas Ericsson, klas.ericsson_at_kammarkollegiet.se
    46 8 7000 737
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