Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (183)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

183. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Health 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 [47923/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The table outlines the number of mobile phones and the total cost of purchasing for the specified years. The figures broken down by grade are currently being compiled and I will arrange for them to be forwarded to the Deputy in the coming days.

Year 

 2016

 2017

 2018

 2019 to date

 Number of phones 

 79

 50

 114

 114

 Cost (€)

 5,289

 3,795

 19,342

 25,387

My Department previously had a contract with Vodafone for the provision of mobile and telephony services, including the provision of mobile phones, which expired in 2016.

In 2016 the Office for Government Procurement advised that my Department continue with the existing supplier until a new framework was established.  This new OGP framework is now in place.  However, the tender competition to replace this contract was delayed due to competing priorities following the Department's HQ move to Miesian Plaza.

My Department is at an advanced stage of preparation with the OGP in relation to this tendering process and I expect that process to commence shortly.  Use of this OGP framework will ensure value for the taxpayer in relation to these costs.  

My Department offers a standard smartphone to officials at Assistant Principal grade and above. Requests for staff at other grades must have a clear business need and be supported by a business case. In exceptional circumstances, a higher specification phone and/or increased data package may be appropriate.  Such requests are considered on a case by case basis and must be supported by an appropriate business case.  My Department also monitors usage on an ongoing basis to ensure the most economical packages are assigned to each account.