Thursday, 12 December 2019

Ceisteanna (116)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

116. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality 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. [52406/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Credit cards within my Department are utilised as a tightly controlled business tool to facilitate the efficient and cost effective discharge of Departmental business and cover expenditure arising in the performance of official duties. In some instances it is not possible to procure goods and services without a credit card, where for example, suppliers insist upon advance payment or for online purchases.

A Statement of Policy on the use of credit cards issued in January 2016 provides a framework for the appropriate use of official credit cards within my Department. The control process is kept under review but my Department is satisfied that the controls in place restrict the number of such cards to a minimum and that the priority is ensuring best value for money.

A total of three officials working in my Department have been issued with official credit cards, as set out below.

Credit Card Holders 2016 - 2019

Private Secretary to Minister for Justice and Equality

Head of I.T.

Head of Corporate Services

Details of the total annual expenditure over the past four years is set out below.

Year

Private Secretary’s Card

IT & Corporate Services Cards

Total

2016

€7,829.96

€12,792.58

€20,622.54

2017

€3,865.14

€14,265.65

€18,130.79

2018

€3,326.35

€16,679.02

€20,005.37

2019

€4,742.26

€24,714.53

€29,456.79

The Department's Financial Management Unit has robust controls in place to monitor expenditure on the cards in use. All statements are processed for payment on a monthly basis and all credit card expenditure must be accompanied by receipts when submitted in support of an expense claim. Expense claims must be approved by a line manager who is senior to the claimant. Individual transactions are scrutinised to ensure they are appropriately charged to the Department's Vote.

The Financial Shared Services Centre make the necessary payments by the due date of payment and forward the credit card statements to the credit cardholders for reconciliation. No bank account interest has been paid on any Department credit cards in the period under query.

Regarding 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, I have referred this request to the relevant agencies to provide information to the Deputy directly.