Friday, October 8, 2010

It's good to talk!

It seems our Government and our senior mandarins certainly like to talk - so much so that they have racked up almost €10m in mobile phone calls over the past three and a half years.

Between all the Government Departments and the Department of the Taoiseach, there are almost 5,000 official mobile phones - meaning the bills for all the hot air are paid out of the taxpayer’s purse.

A bit of careful digging led Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes to figures that show that since 2007, a whopping €9.63m has been paid out on those bills.

The award for the highest phone bills goes to the Department of Agriculture, who with 1,644 official mobile phones has forked out €2.89m in calls since 2007.

Another top talking Department is the Department of Social Protection, which racked up total bills of €1.52m on its 1,056 official mobile phones.

There are departments, however, who have proven to be frugal with their phones and their bills.

The Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Department of Defence seem to keep their hot air to themselves.

The Department of the Taoiseach has 79 staff mobiles and they came in at a cost of €515,288 since 2007; Education has 524 phones at a cost of €577,047; Finance has 148 phones at a cost of €264,036; Health has 180 phones at a cost of €553,634 and Transport has 164 phones at a cost of €294,889.

The Department of Justice has 141 phones at a cost of €595,430; Foreign Affairs has 187 mobiles at €492,308 and Environment has 331 phones at a cost of €518,598.

Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has 108 mobiles at a cost of €314,193; Enterprise, Trade and Innovation has 152 phones at a cost of €485,652 and the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs has 109 phones at a total cost of €276,797.

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