Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (305)

Niall Collins

Question:

305. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the number of credit cards issued to Ministers and officials working in his Department; the amount spent on credit cards in each year since 2016; the bank interest paid on credit cards in each year since 2016; the controls in place to monitor the issuing of and the expenditure on the cards; the controls in place in each agency to monitor expenditure on personally held credit card bills that are subsequently used to recoup work-related expenses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52397/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

There are three official credit cards in my Department at present. One is held by my Private Secretary and two held by Departmental officials working in the Finance and Accounts area.

The card held by my private secretary is used to facilitate expenditure associated with official Ministerial duties, particularly when travelling abroad, where the use of a credit card is necessary. Every Ministerial credit card bill is checked, certified and signed off for payment at Principal Officer Level.

The two Departmental corporate credit cards, which were introduced in 2018, facilitate the purchase of goods and services items where cards are the only accepted payment method. Staff must complete an application form, signed off by a Division budget approver for each credit card purchase.

Details of expenditure on credit cards, and associated interest paid for each of the years from 2016 to date, is set out in the table below:

Year

Ministerial CardsExpenditure €

Corporate CardsExpenditure €

Interest €

2016

10,729

0

15

2017

11,783

0

10

2018*

13,758

39,463

209

2019 (To Date)

2,307

59,416

1

* The increase in spend arises from the introduction of the two additional credit cards in 2018.

The information requested in relation to the agencies under the aegis of my Department is an operational matter for each agency. The Department will request the relevant bodies to reply directly to the Deputy with the information requested in respect of their organisations.