Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (370)

Shane Cassells

Question:

370. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount spent on purchasing mobile telephones for staff in her Department for work-related business in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by grade; if her 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 her 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. [47917/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Culture)

In accordance with Department policy mobile phones are issued to staff on the basis of a business case approved by the head of the relevant division - Assistant Secretary or Director.

In general, mobile phones are issued to Assistant Principal or equivalent and above.  However, mobile phones are also issued to other grades from time to time on the basis of business need or in the case of lone workers to take account of health and safety issues.  There are currently 252 mobile phones on issue to staff in the Department.

The following table sets out expenditure by my Department for purchases of mobile phones for the periods specified by the Deputy.  These figures include new purchases 

Year 

 Expenditure

2016 

€0

2017

€46,433

2018

€28,844

2019 (to date)

€5,429

In June 2019, following a tender competition conducted under the Office of Government Procurement Framework, the Department entered into a new 2 year contract with eir for the supply of mobile telephony services with the option to extend for a further period of up to two years if required.   

Expenditure is monitored carefully to ensure that costs are work related and value for money is achieved at all times.