Outsourcing gaffe costs Norwegian state NOK 4m / News / The Foreigner

Outsourcing gaffe costs Norwegian state NOK 4m. Judges order Ministry of Culture pay compensation for not examining the small print. A female native Norwegian speaker has won her wrongful dismissal suit following claims India-based staff can carry out the same specialised tasks without knowing the language. The permanent employee had some 30 years tenure, proofreading fiction and academic publications and converting them to braille, amongst other assignments.

norwaytranslations, proofreading



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Outsourcing gaffe costs Norwegian state NOK 4m

Published on Monday, 3rd March, 2014 at 20:01 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 3rd March 2014 at 20:44.

Judges order Ministry of Culture pay compensation for not examining the small print.

Book
'The defendant could not answer how the production process in India could be automated, but guessed it had to be so as it was so cheap,' the plaintiff's lawyer says.Book
Photo: Sam J Jordan/Flickr


A female native Norwegian speaker has won her wrongful dismissal suit following claims India-based staff can carry out the same specialised tasks without knowing the language.

The permanent employee had some 30 years tenure, proofreading fiction and academic publications and converting them to braille, amongst other assignments.

Management at Ministry of Culture subsidiary Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille (NLB) decided to sign deals with several Indian companies offering the same services.

They claimed the South Asia-based firms could do this faster using technology.

This led to NLB concurrently informing the female employee her services were no longer required, reported Dagens Næringsliv (DN), Monday.

She refuted this, also alleging in her lawsuit she filed against the state that NLB’s motive was cost-driven.

Moreover, Norwegian working legislation stipulates state employees cannot lose their job if the tasks are still to be performed.

Her lawyer, Bjørn Ketil Myrset at law practice Myrset Advokatfirma in Oslo, informed The Foreigner one of the aids the Indian companies use is Google Translate.

“They also use a scanner to scan the literature, which sometimes leads to errors,” he added.

Mr Myrset told DN that “the Indians perform the task in exactly the way my client used to do. They [NLB] are lying when they say the work is automated. This technology doesn’t exist. I’ve talked to the Indian personnel myself. They say it is not automated.”

NLB head of production Arne Kyrkjebø explained to Oslo District Court judges the reasons work tasks were moved to India from Norway, referring to changes in the production process.

Part of the judgment reads “[Mr] Kyrkjebø could not explain how the Indians could use less time on proofreading when they do not understand the language and have to read and check [the text] word for word.”

“[Mr] Kyrkjebø responded by saying that proofreading was actually easier for somebody who does not read nor write Norwegian. The Court finds this difficult to comprehend…” DN further quotes.

Bjørn Ketil Myrset also commented to The Foreigner that “on the question from the Court about how he could say that the production process was automated in India, Mr Kyrkjebø answered that he guessed the process had to be automated, since the production in India is so cheap.”

The Court found in favour of the plaintiff. Judges ordered the Norwegian State pay NOK 4m (some USD 663,150k/EUR 481,280k/GBP 398,830k at today’s ROE), as well has her legal costs.

Ministry of Culture officials are now considering whether to appeal.

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Published on Monday, 3rd March, 2014 at 20:01 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 3rd March 2014 at 20:44.

This post has the following tags: norwaytranslations, proofreading.





  
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