Written Answers. - Provision of Telecommunications Equipment.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

95 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Welfare the number of items of telecommunications equipment such as fax machines, telephone lines including phone plus systems, and other such equipment provided in his Department to the ministerial assistants, programme managers, special assistants or advisers who are acting for himself or his Minister of State which have been paid for through his Department's vote or other State subvention; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

96 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Welfare the total cost of the provision of telecommunications equipment for himself, his Minister of State, special advisers and other such persons for the year ending 31 December 1992; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

97 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Welfare the number of extra mobile phones and car telephones provided for himself, his Minister of State, programme managers, advisers, or assistants, since the formation of the Government; the cost of such service in a full year; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 95 to 97, inclusive, together.

My Department uses voice and data telecommunications facilities extensively in its day to day operations. The Department has built a telecommunications network serving all its offices nationwide. The network includes 1,500 telephone extensions, 800 direct lines, 50 telephone systems of varying sizes and 45 FAX machines.

In this age of rapid communication it has, for some years, been normal practice for Ministers, Ministers of State and their advisers to use modern means of communication. This equipment is part of my Department's business-like communications network.
In reply to the Deputy's question, the telecommunications equipment provided is as follows:—
—Four FAX machines
—Three mobile phones, and
—Two telephone answering machines.
The full year cost of providing these services is made up of their purchase price, rental and the cost of calls. Purchase price of this equipment, which is part of my Department's stock, was approximately £9,000. Ongoing charges include rental and total cost in a full year will depend on the level of usage and are estimated to be of the order of £5,000.
No additional telecommunications equipment was purchased in 1992 for use by the Minister or advisers; there was no Minister of State at my Department in 1992.