Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (42)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

42. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Taoiseach 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. [47928/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The Department of the Taoiseach has a contract for the supply of mobile phones and associated services. The current contract was established between the Department and Three Ireland in September 2019 following a public procurement exercise conducted in conjunction with the Office of Government Procurement.

It was awarded on the basis of the Most Economically Advantageous Tender when costs of mobile phones, costs associated with ongoing usage, international roaming, data usage and customer support capabilities were considered. The contract is for 24 months and is due to expire in September 2021. It can be extended for a further 24 months.

Prior to 2019 the Department of the Taoiseach had a similar contract in place with a different service provider which was again established in conjunction with public procurement frameworks provided by the Office of Government Procurement.

Mobile phone services are currently provided to 114 staff assigned to the Department of the Taoiseach, commensurate with their role and to facilitate staff in discharging their duties. This includes staff who provide on-call services or staff who are regularly away from their desks.

The usage of mobile phones is outlined in the Department’s ICT Security and Usage Policy which provides that ‘Every officer has a duty to take proper and reasonable care of public funds and Department property and not to use them or permit their use for unauthorised purposes.

Where available, staff who are travelling in the course of their duties are placed on appropriate tariffs with the mobile phone service provider to reduce costs associated with international roaming. All staff are required to reimburse the Department for any additional expenses incurred which are not related to their role.

Mobile phones are replaced when they are ‘end-of-life’. The Department of the Taoiseach’s current contract provides a mechanism to either purchase the mobile phone outright or to spread the cost of the mobile phone over the term of the contract and avail of further reduced rates by doing so. Availing of the discounted rate is the preferred option and applies to all current phones.

Costs associated with purchasing mobile phones for staff for 2016, 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019, by grade and excluding VAT, are:

Grade

2016

2017

2018

2019

Assistant Principal Officer

€1,610

€5,580

€3,982

€2,005

Clerical Officer and Service Officer

€230

€310

€0

€207

Defence Forces, Engineer, Scientific Grades and Garda Staff

€460

€310

€592

€552

Executive Officer

€690

€1,240

€565

€760

Higher Executive Officer and Administrative Officer

€1,610

€3,410

€565

€1,520

Principal Officer

€690

€4,030

€565

€968

Political Staff - offices of the Taoiseach, Minister of State, Chief Whip and Independent Ministers

€1,150

€4,960

€5,650

€1,314

Secretary General, Second Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General

€230

€1,952

€1,130

€552

TOTAL COST (excl. VAT)

€6,670

€21,792

€13,049

€7,878