Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (144)

Robert Troy

Question:

144. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of credit cards issued to staff and Ministers in his Department; the total costs of each card since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12478/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

My Department, which is responsible for Vote 27 (International Cooperation) and Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs), operates a restrictive policy for the use of corporate credit cards for official expenditure. There are currently 6 official credit cards in use by my Department in Ireland and 13 in use by Missions abroad. The use of official credit cards may be permitted for officials who, because of the nature of their work, need to make official payments by this method. Credit cards are typically used to make occasional flight and hotel bookings, for making on-line purchases where it represents better value for money and for making payments at short notice, where cash may not be acceptable or where invoicing arrangements cannot be put in place.

Their use is subject to the same authorisation and control procedures as other forms of payment and decisions to issue a card are made in response to identified business needs.

While credit card companies require that the accounts be operated by named authorised signatories, it must be stressed that in my Department credit cards are used exclusively for official purposes.

The following table sets out details of each of the cards issued to my Department and their associated costs.

Department of Foreign

Affairs and Trade HQ

No of cards

Issuer

Fees Charged

March 2011 to Date

Finance Unit

One

Visa

€60

Library

One

Visa

€60

Minister of State’s Office

One

Visa

€60

ICT Unit

One

Visa

€60

Finance Unit (DCD)

One

Visa

€61

Minister of State’s Office (DCD)

One

American Express

€100

Missions Abroad

 

 

 

Abu Dhabi

One

Visa NBAD

€55

Embassy, Berne

One

MasterCard

€158

Permanent Representation of Ireland to the European Union, Brussels

Four

Visa

€88

Canberra

One

 

0

Embassy, London

One

Visa

€61

Embassy, Mexico

One

American Express

€839

Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York

One

Visa Card

0

Embassy, Ottawa

One

American Express

€199

Embassy, Paris

One

Visa

€263

Embassy, Tokyo

One

Visa

€38

The credit card service providers are selected on a case by case basis by comparing the rates and terms offered by service providers to ensure best value for money.