Interpreting in the public sector

The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion has the main responsibility for arranging for interpreting to and from Norwegian and other spoken languages in the public sector.

The Directorate for Integration and Diversity (IMDi) is the national expert authority for interpreting in the public sector. IMDi is responsible for the National Register of Interpreters and for licensing state-authorised interpreters. All administrative levels, sector authorities and municipalities have an independent responsibility to develop good routines for booking, using, paying for and quality assuring the services of interpreters.

IMDi has prepared a guide for the purchase of interpreting services. This guide is available from www.tolkeportalen.no. 

Greater use of and better access to interpreters

Official Norwegian Report 2014:8 Interpreting in the public sector – a question relating to the right to due process of law and equal treatment (NOU 2014:8 Tolking i offentlig sektor – et spørsmål om rettssikkerhet og likeverd) was published in September 2014. According to the report, there is a need to increase the use of qualified interpreters throughout the public sector and to increase the access to qualified interpreters. The committee therefore proposes introducing a statutory duty for the public sector to use qualified interpreters in given situations. The committee also proposes an escalation plan for the 2015-2018 period, with the goal of increasing the number of qualified interpreters and putting in place good systems for procuring, booking and following up these interpreters. 

Comments have been invited on the report on interpreting in the public sector.