Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (348)

Niall Collins

Question:

348. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of credit cards issued to Ministers and officials working in her 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 she will make a statement on the matter. [52401/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

My Department currently has five credit cards issued to officials in the Department.

The amount spent on credit cards in each year from 2016 to 2018 and to date in November 2019 is set out below in tabular format:

Year

Amount €

2016

€135,620

2017

€120,216

2018

€159,729

2019 YTD November

€165,192

The bank interest paid on credit cards in each year since 2016 is set out below:

Year

Amount €

2016

€9.68

2017

€1.24

2018

€113.60

2019 YTD November

Nil

The following controls are in place to ensure the issuing of credit cards are necessary and duly approved:

(i) A business case requesting the credit card is put forward in writing for approval;

(ii) The Principal Officer in the Department's Accounts Branch approves all new credit card applications before they are issued;

(iii) Copies of signatories from the staff member receiving the credit card and their approver is obtained and kept on file in Accounts Branch;

(iv) Finally, a credit card usage compliance form is signed by the staff member stating that the credit card is for business use only.

The following controls are in place to ensure expenditure is controlled and monitored:

(i) All transactions appearing on credit card bills must be signed off and payment sanctioned by the relevant staff member's Principal or Assistant Principal (whoever is appropriate) before Accounts Branch will issue a payment on the card.

Credit card issue and corresponding expenditure are wholly and exclusively for Departmental business.