Bids for interpreting services by EU bodies

You may have been contacted recently by agencies asking for your CV and rates in connection with a bid they are submitting for providing interpretation services to European organisations. The AIIC-EU Negotiating Delegation reports on the implications of this practice.

The subject of calls for tender has been a recurrent item on the agenda at your Delegation’s regular meetings with the interpreting services of the three EU Institutions which are signatories to the AIIC-EU Agreement on financial terms and working conditions for free-lance interpreters hired as ACI.

We have explored with the Institutions the legal aspect of Commission DGs outsourcing interpretation, and the compatibility of this practice with the Agreement.

The  Commission’s Legal Service’s opinion is that the practice is incompatible with the Agreement.

SCIC raised the matter with DGs, and as a result a number of conferences put out to tender subsequently worked with interpreters provided by SCIC, though some DGs continue to publish calls to tender.

We intend to continue pursuing the whole issue of outsourcing with the Administrations. We have provided them with AIIC’s Guidelines on the drafting of calls to tender, and suggested they could be a useful basis for further reflection by them on how to tackle the promotion of high quality and professional interpretation and, where appropriate, advising EU bodies on it.

When contacted by agencies for your cv or rates, please remember that you are not obliged to reply, that if you do send your cv you are providing an asset which can be exploited as a demonstration of quality with no guarantee that you will be hired, and that you are in turn entitled to ask questions about conditions and bona fides before providing anything.





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