Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (398)

Niall Collins

Question:

398. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the total cost of ministerial transport in his Department in 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date 2013; the number of drivers employed in each year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30549/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The information requested by the Deputy on the total cost to my Department of Ministerial transport in the years 2010 to date and the number of civilian drivers employed in each year, is outlined in the following table:

-

2010

2011

2012

2013

Minister’s transport costs

0

€63,550

€103,136

€56,053

No. of Minister’s civilian drivers

0

2

2

2

Minister of State’s transport costs

0

€63,370

€96,685

€54,536

No. of Minister of State’s civilian drivers

0

2

2

2

In 2010, all Government Ministers were provided with a State car that was driven by a member of An Garda Síochána from a pool of Gardaí, two of whom were assigned to the Minister at that time. The cost of this service was funded from the Vote of An Garda Síochána.

During this period, the Minister of State who was also assigned to the then Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, did not claim mileage in my Department.

The Government decided on 15th March 2011, inter alia, that with the exception of the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, who retained their State car and Garda Drivers, the travel arrangements that were in place for Ministers of State would apply to all Ministers with regard to their official travel. Under these new arrangements, Ministers could appoint two civilian drivers to drive the Minister’s car and claim mileage in accordance with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines. The decision to discontinue the provision of State cars for Cabinet Ministers (with the exception of An Taoiseach, An Tánaiste and the Minister for Justice) has reduced the cost to the Exchequer on average by 65%.