Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (118)

Shane Cassells

Question:

118. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Education and Skills the amount spent on purchasing mobile telephones for staff within his Department for work-related business in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by grade; if his Department has a contract with a mobile telephone company (details supplied) to supply mobile telephones if needed; if so, the name of the company; the date on which the contract for the supply of mobile telephones to his Department is next due to expire; and the robust steps taken to ensure that the costs incurred on work related telephones are the best value for the taxpayer. [47919/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department’s current mobile phone contract was awarded to Vodafone Ireland, following a procurement process under the OGP Framework Agreement for the provision of Mobile Voice and Data Communications. This contract is due to expire in May 2022 subject to terms and conditions in this agreement.  The monthly tariff provides for all calls, texts and a limited data allowance. The standard mobile device is provided at no cost. Mobile phones are purchased, on an exceptional basis, for accessibility, functionality or specific business purposes that cannot be met effectively by the standard device.

Details of gross costs for mobile phone devices for the period 2016-2019 are set out below. The function, not the grade, of the Officer is the key determinant in the provision of phones.  Therefore, in this regard, grade related information is not readily available.

My Department’s policy on mobile telephony, both voice and data, sets out the relevant procedures and protocols that govern the use of mobile phones. This policy is acknowledged, and adherence to the terms and conditions governing usage is confirmed, by all subscribers. Charges arising are reviewed and must be approved. Where personal charges arise, these are recouped by the subscriber to the Department’s Vote.  

Mobile Phone Costs

2016 €2,375

2017 €3,400

2018 €5,095

2019 (to November) €1,215