It cost €1.3m to buy new mobile phones for top civil servants and ministerial advisers since 2017, it can be revealed.
Across all departments, figures show that the Government has spent €1,290,267.35 on work-related phones for top spin doctors and officials over the past three years.
In figures released to Fianna Fáil TD Shane Cassells, it is clear that the highest spending department was the Department of Justice, headed by Charlie Flanagan. Mr Flanagan’s department spent €410,629 on mobile phones for its staff.
The figures also show that the Department of Finance, headed by Paschal Donohoe spent almost €200,000 on new phones for its staff.
Mr Cassells, a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has queried the amount spent on purchasing mobile telephones for staff in each department. He is demanding to know which “robust steps” were being taken to ensure that the costs incurred on work-related telephones are the best value for taxpayers.
Heather Humphrey’s Jobs Department spent €160,331, while Shane Ross’ Department of Transport and Tourism pent €148,035.
The total bill for the Department of Foreign Affairs came to €91,019; while the Housing Department spent €80,660.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty paid €80,708 on 212 phones while Minister of State at the Department of Defence Paul Kehoe spent €62,489.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spent €50,719 on new phones for 114 staff members. Among those to benefit from the new devices include the Taoiseach’s special advisers with €11,914 being spent on political staff.
Commenting on the expenditure, Mr Varadkar said:
“The current contract was established between the Department and Three Ireland in September 2019 following a public procurement exercise.
"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.