Central Bank’s €1.5m travel bill

The Central Bank paid €1.5m on travel, hotels, and in fees to a travel agent for its staff last year.

The largest part of the €1.5m total was €715,143 for travel consultant FCM Travel Solutions.

The payments also include €540,499 to Hotels.com, €194,131 to Aer Lingus, €50,307 to Roomex.com and €24,799 to Ryanair.

A Central Bank spokesman said that in line with Government guidelines, the bank used the services of a travel agent, FCM Travel Solutions, during 2018.

“The amounts paid to FCM include the costs of flights and hotels paid directly by FCM on the bank’s behalf, in addition to the related FCM service fee,” the spokesman said.

“In line with our travel policy, Central Bank staff overnight accommodation is offered in line with public-sector policies and spend limits,” he said.

In order to secure the most competitive rates, the bank uses a range of sources to secure the most suitable and competitively priced accommodation — one of which is Hotels.com.

The Central Bank’s work involves international meetings at the ECB and extensive supervisory duties across Ireland.

The Central Bank also paid Sodexo over €3.5m for catering for its 2,000 staff at North Wall Quay, Spencer Dock and Sandyford, in Dublin.

The spokesman said that “staff, contractors and visitors may purchase catering services in the bank and all such payments received are offset against this cost.”

It also paid €644,673 to cybersecurity firm Bianconi Research, or RITS, in 2018.

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