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Cost and usage of interpreters by the States of Jersey (FOI)

Cost and usage of interpreters by the States of Jersey (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 11 June 2015.
Prepared internally, no external costs.



How much the States of Jersey has spent on interpretors over the last five years?


Can you break it down into each department Health/Home Affairs/Social Security


For each year can you tell me how much each department spent on each particular language?


How many interpretors does the States use?


Does the States spend any money on language tuition for staff?


Can the results be presented in table form?


The information produced below relates to the 5 years 2010 to 2014 inclusive. The figures shown in the charts are rounded up/down to the nearest pound. All States Departments are included as to amount spent on interpreters. Some interpreter costs may include translation. In these cases it is not possible to separate the two amounts.

A. and B.


Chief Minister's Department£922£3,167£2,508£1,044£581
Economic Development (including Ports of Jersey) NIL NIL NIL NILNIL
Education, Sport and Culture NIL NIL NIL£825£956
Health and Social Services£52,567£46,232£42,252£45,517£58,334
Home Affairs£37,839£29,737£26,864£26,995£28,233
Planning and Environment£77£951£1,459£1,457£1,937
Social Security (see below table for breakdown of cost)£9,689£7,530£6,689£12,428£6,528
States Assembly NIL NIL NIL NILNIL
Transport and Technical Services NIL NIL£1,155£805NIL
Treasury and Resources NIL NIL NIL NILNIL


Breakdown of Social Security cost:

Long Term care    £38£38
States (tax funded)
















The cost relating to each language is only recorded by certain departments. Therefore where the information is available it has been provided. Where the language is not recorded they have been classified as unidentified. 

There would be a need for departments to examine each individual invoice in order to retrieve the spilt between languages. As the number of invoices is high it is estimated that it would be cost excessive to provide any more detail  - Article 16 Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. See details below.

Arabic£301£1   £1,800
Bengali£4 £1 £26  £27
Bulgarian £20 £1 £32  
Cantonese£73  £112 £10
Chinese £3,167£1,268  


Czech  £4   
German£17 £29 £51 £10 £46
Hakka £5    
Hindi £1 £2  £22
Hungarian£82 £37 £3   
Indonesian  £4,750  
Italian£69 £77 £18 £97 £34
Japanese £10£2 £4 £8 £4,940
Latvian £6   £7
Lithuanian £50  £21  
Mandarin Chinese £26 £6 £825£956
Portuguese (nonspecific)£200    
Romanian£3   £69£95 £62
Russian £1 £145  
Tigrinya   £1 
Vietnamese  £6  



The States uses various service providers for interpreter services, both individual persons and language lines. It would not therefore be possible to give an accurate number for all departments. However it is possible to provide the information for departments who have this data available.

Health and Social Services currently employ two permanent Portuguese speaking language Service Assistants (LSA) – 1 x 18.5hrs and 1 x 12hrs and has 23 LSAs (Portuguese, Polish and French) on zero hour contacts. They also use external language line services.

The Home Affairs Department uses 64 different external providers which includes individual persons and language lines. This figure includes the provision of services to Customs and Immigration, States of Jersey Police and HM Prison Service. As these services deal with the arrest, detention and interview of subjects on a daily basis they must ensure that the rights of detainees are met by providing comprehensive interpreting services in numerous languages. Furthermore, these services are often required overnight and at weekends when providers run out of hours rotas. This creates an increased business need for interpreting services from a broad spectrum of providers in order to ensure that there is always a clear understanding, by any detained person, as to their rights under the law.

Education, Sport and Culture use two external Mandarin Chinese providers.

Planning and Environment use seven French, eight Portuguese and three Polish external providers. Transport and Technical Services use one French provider. A number of States departments have multi-lingual staff who may, as part of their normal work activities, provide translation services for their department.


Yes the States do spend money on language tuition for staff. This is primarily for staff who are involved in diplomatic engagement with France or who work in Tourism.

Chief Minister's Department £88£886£2,709£2,520£3,240
Economic Development£1,070 NIL NIL£1,565£2,406

Education, Sport and Culture


Health and Social Services

Non- Ministerial NIL£214£533£992£2,064
Planning and Environment NIL NIL NIL NILNIL
Social Security NIL NIL NIL NILNIL
States Assembly NIL£9,372£7,131£6,411£8,770

Transport and Technical Services

Treasury and Resources NIL NIL NIL NILNIL



Article 16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive

(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed the amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations. 

(2) despite paragraph (1), a scheduled public authority may still supply the information requested on payment to it of a fee determined by the authority in the manner prescribed by
regulations for the purposes of this Article.

(3) Regulations may provide that, in such circumstances as the regulations prescribe, if two or more requests for information are made to a scheduled public authority:

(a) by one person; or
(b) be different persons who appear to the scheduled public authority to be acting in concert or in pursuance of a campaign,

the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them.

Justification for exemption:

Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information

The departments who do not have the split between languages would need to examine each invoice to retrieve the information. It is estimated that each invoice would take 8 minutes to review the information and the departments have in excess of 750 invoices each.

Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011

Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014

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