According to the minutes of one of the meetings of the Senate Board, there are plans to increase the expenditure initially planned for interpretation and translation services of the official languages in the sessions of the Upper House due to the proposal of Alberto Núñ Feijóo, leader of the Senate. PP, to hold an additional plenary session per month.
The senior lawyer of the Upper House would have mentioned in the minutes the increase in the budget, originally estimated at a maximum amount of 756,000 euros, to facilitate understanding and communication between all parliamentarians when interventions are made in Basque, Catalan, Galician and Valencian. .
When the presence of these official languages was discovered in the Senate debates, a base bidding budget of 151,250 euros was estimated for a period of one year. Even so, the possibility of extending it up to another four times is specified, adding a total expense of 756,250 euros.
Dismiss the procedure
However, the approach launched by the PP leader in a meeting with the PP parliamentary groups of Congress and Senate to hold one more plenary session per month in the Upper House has conditioned the budget of this contract. And the Senate Board, where the PP has an absolute majority, gave its approval to the proposal launched by Feijóo and finally the number of plenary sessions held per month will be increased to three.
In this scenario, the Senate Board will predictably make the decision to abandon the procedure for this contract “since an increase in the bidding budget will be necessary to address this new situation.” Currently, the use of official languages in the Senate is limited to motions in plenary sessions, interventions in the General Commission of the Autonomous Communities or in the presentation of writings.
The Chamber has a pool of 16 translators.
It was in 2005 when the official languages began to be incorporated in the Senate, through the Commission of the Autonomous Communities. To do this, the Upper House selected 25 interpreters-translators (seven for Catalan and six for each of the other official languages).
On the occasion of the inclusion in 2010 of the official languages in the debate on Plenary motions, the Senate Board agreed that these 25 interpreters-translators would also carry out their functions in the Plenary. However, currently only sixteen of the initial twenty-five remain on the list of performers.
In 2023, the budget contemplates an expense of 280,000 euros for the interpretation service and 3,000 euros for the transcription service. The proposal formulated in this contract establishes a maximum annual budget of 151,250 euros, an amount lower than that budgeted in 2023, something that the Upper House attributes to the savings in travel costs, compensation and the rationalization of the regime applicable to changes in the forecast . of plenary sessions.