Ljubljana 25 November 2011
Ivett G Larsson
+46-8-700 08 56
Community interpreting in Sweden
650 000
… in 120
1,2 – 1,5 million … in 170
State authorization in Sweden since 1976
996 interpreters
1 053 authorizations
In 36 languages
202 interpreters
215 court competence
in 21 languages
132 interpreters
135 medical competence
in 18 languages
403 translators
473 authorizations
245 translators
into 28 languages
174 translators
from 31 languages
Authorization – general information
• 40 languages
• Application fee: 2 300 SEK (240 EUR)
• Valid for 5 years
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
80 %
Proficiency examination - written test
• General background
knowledge test: 40-50
• Terminology test: 100
• General background
knowledge test: 25 questions
in the field of law or medicine
• Terminology test: 100
specialist terms to be
translated into Swedish
specialist terms to be
translated into Swedish
• 60 specialist terms and 40
• 100 specialist terms to be
expressions in context to be
translated from Swedish
translated from Swedish
Proficiency examination – oral test
• Active interpreting test, at
most four role plays
• Oral examination in
interpreting technique and
professional ethics
• 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.
National registers
• Authorized interpreters and translators
• Trained interpreters
National Procurement Services
at Kammarkollegiet, Sweden
Klas Ericsson
Jeanette Hemmingsson
The National Procurement Services
• Our task is to supply coordinated framework agreements at
National level for goods and services,
• At National, Regional and Local level whithin the area of ICT &
• 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.
National Procurement Services
Division for ICT-procurement
Legal Section
Division for procurement of
Goods and Services
Division for Contract
Framework agreements for Interpretation services
• Contract period 2+1+1 years, (new procurement planned to 2012),
• Includes the provision and distribution of:
Authorized interpreters,
Authorized court interpreters,
Authorized 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.
Framework agreements for Translation services
• Contract period 2+1+1 years, (new procurement commenced),
• 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,
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,
Observed general problems
• Lack of certified and qualified interpreters and translators,
• Existing training programs do not respond to needs,
• Authorization is lagging behind in terms of topicality,
• Poor knowledge of the business among users/ contracting
• Approved interpreter tariff only for assignments in some kind of
authorities, e.g. courts,
• Insecure situation for interpreters and translators,
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,
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, e.g. the Swedish
migration board,
• 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,
What do we need consider for the coming contracts?
• Opportunities for monitoring and auditing requirements and quality
during the contract,
Possibility of cancellation, quarantine, demotion in rank, etc.
Fixed interpreter tariff for all assignments, competition only with the
agency fee, interpreters will not be affected negatively,
Interpreters should be able to invoice the customer directly, not via
the agency, no uncertainty of their rightful compensation,
Differentiated reimbursement to the agency – higher skills give
higher compensation – incentives to always offer the highest
competence and stimulate continuing education,
Video interpretation, more secure than telephone interpretation,
reduced travel time, benefits for the environment,
Information and training to interpreter users.
Prestudy for the procurement of
translation services
Branch comments
• Meeting with the Swedish Association of Professional Translators,
• Meeting with the Federation of Authorised Translators,
• Meeting with the current framework suppliers,
• Survey Mailings to 28 suppliers who are members of the Swedish
Association of Professional Translators, 12 responded to the
Prestudy for the procurement of
translation services
To anchor with the contracting authorities
• Reference group meeting,
• Survey mailings to 214 contracting authorities, 92 responded to the
• Telephone meeting with the Social Insurance Agency who has
made ​its own procurement,
• Meeting with the National Police who previously was responsible
for the agreement area.
Preparation of tender documents
• Collection of statistics. It is important to capture the purchasing
patterns of contracting authorities. The statistics allow for weighting
in the tender documents.
• Received statistics have been of varying quality,
• These statistics enable the division of languages,
• What are the most frequent languages​​? How many assignments
per year called off in each language?
• What are delivery times like? Normal delivery / express delivery,
which are used mostly?
• Do authorities call off many short assignments? (texts with less
than 2000 words). 90% call off short assignments.
Preparation of tender documents
It is important to set higher demands on the service.
How can we improve the quality of the procurement?
Tangible changes
• Place demands on translators' professional competence,
• Review the possibilities for penalty clauses in cases of poor
• Establish in advance how an order should proceed,
• Review the supplier's ordering procedures, what support systems
are available?
Preparation of tender documents
• Is it possible to request specific translators?
• What is the supplier's procedures for ensuring the quality of the
• Review the requirements for secrecy, then authorities documents
are to be affected by confidentiality.
• How does the the supplier work with the terminology? The
translator must have the ability to translate in different
terminologies, understand the terminology that is customary in the
language and in the authority.
Preparation of tender documents
• What audit options should be included?
• With experience from previous agreements it is of great
importance to make specific monitoring, in addition to the
continuous monitoring, of selected requirements in order to
maintain a high level of quality throughout the contract period,
• What controls should be made before delivery of the translated
material is made to a customer?
Preparation of tender documents
• If ranking is selected, what legal possibilities are there to bypass
the ranking?
• Should we put turnover requirements on the supplier? This has
been appealed to the Administrative Court on several occasions.
Contact information
• Kammarkollegiet (The Swedish Legal, Financial and Administrative
Services Agency) www.kammarkollegiet.se +46 8 7000 800
• Ivett G Larsson, ivett.larsson@kammarkollegiet.se
• Jonas Lembke, jonas.lembke@kammarkollegiet.se
• Information about the National Procurement Services framework
agreements can be found on our webb-site www.avropa.se.
• Klas Ericsson, klas.ericsson@kammarkollegiet.se
• Jeanette Hemmingsson,

National Procurement Services at Kammarkollegiet, Sweden