Written answers

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Departmental Expenditure

Photo of Niall CollinsNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail)
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286. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 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. [52394/19]

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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There are currently 13 credit cards held by officials within my Department for business purposes.

The total spend by year is as follows:

Year Spend Interest Paid
2016 €40,087.28 0
2017 €46,625.80 0
2018 €52,010.76 0
To date in 2019 €42,843.75 0

My Department, where necessary, will authorise the exclusive use of an official credit card by a member of staff for payment of expenses relating to foreign travel and for the payment of goods or services provided to the Department in specific circumstances.

These credit cards are provided strictly for official business use only and all applications must be made through the applicant’s Head of Division and must be approved by an officer of at least Assistant Secretary level or equivalent.

Statements for all official credit cards are billed centrally to my Department's Accounts Division which in turn issue each Cardholder with a copy of their monthly statement. The Cardholders must then check the statement to ensure that all charges incurred are correct and are of an official nature. Cardholders are required to reconcile the balance on their statements on a monthly basis.

In the case of foreign travel, cardholders record all details of the trip as soon as possible on the on-line Travel System and submit receipts, where applicable, to facilitate the timely reconciliation of the expenditure on the credit card. In the event of undue delay in reconciling items charged on the official credit card, the matter is brought to the attention of the relevant Management Board member.

Recoupment claims of work-related expenses on personal credit cards are made and approved through the online PSSC portal. These claims are subject to agreed civil service guidelines.


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