Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Gordon Deegan

The Revenue Commissioners has spent €447,200 on providing 2,887 staff with mobile phones to facilitate home working during the pandemic.

In addition, the Revenue has spent €565,000 on providing 600 laptops to staff.

The mobile phone and laptop spend is part of an overall €1.14m spend by Revenue to facilitate home working for employees since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

In a written Dail reply, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe said a survey of staff at Revenue has found that 67 per cent favour a blended working model of in the home and at work.

On the mobile phone spend, a spokeswoman for Revenue stated that the approximate cost relating to mobile phones “does not reflect the purchase price per device, but rather the monthly price plan in place between Revenue and our service provider and the average payments made over the past 18 months”.

IT equipment

The spokeswoman said that the provision of IT equipment, including mobile phone and laptop devices was one such support measure during the pandemic to continue to provide essential Revenue services, including the operation of our various helplines, while working remotely.

She added: “Revenue continues to be guided by public health advice while building on the learnings made over the past 18 months, a period when despite the challenges, we have continued to perform as a highly effective organisation.

“Supporting our staff, which includes the provision of the necessary tools to facilitate working remotely, is vital to ensure our continued professionalism and to enable delivery on our ambitious, diverse and complex work programme.”

In his written Dail reply, Mr Donohoe said the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)’s expectation is that a hybrid working model will be available to all employees.

Minister Donohoe states that €207,260 has been spent on ICT equipment to facilitate work from home for NTMA employees.

In relation to the Central Bank, Mr Donohoe said that all staff were equipped to work remotely from March 16th 2020 due to investment the Central Bank had already made.

He stated that approximately eight weeks after the introduction of the Covid-19 restrictions in March 2020, the Central Bank began a process of providing additional equipment such as a monitor, office chair, laptop stand, keyboard and mouse, to improve the ergonomic experience of remote working staff at a cost of €353,259.

The Minister revealed that in his own department, €154,489 has been spent on laptops to facilitate employees to work remotely with an additional €92,126 spent on peripherals.

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