This story is by Ken Foxe and based on a recent story in the Mail on Sunday: Documents obtained under FOI are below.
A politican is suspected to have run up a bill of more than €1,600 calling a single mobile phone number in Pakistan, an unpublished Oireachtas memo has claimed.
Officials in Leinster House’s telecoms unit estimated that calls to a ‘very small number’ of foreign numbers were costing the taxpayer at least €14,000 per year.
Other costs included an estimated €1,249 bill for calling a mobile in Australia, €581 to a mobile in Lithuania, €381 to a Maltese mobile, €370 to a UK mobile, €366 to a South African landline and €331 to a landline in Cyprus. The officials admitted they were powerless to establish whether the expensive calls – made in 2010 – were legitimate as they don’t track who TDs and Senators call on their taxpayer-funded phones.
But the memo stated it was ‘difficult to imagine’ how they could be genuine. ‘It is difficult to imagine what Oireachtas business would give rise to calls costing €1,621 to a single Pakistani mobile phone number, and it would be irresponsible to consider the possibility that such calls might have been an unintended/improper use of the service provided. Without availabe data it is not possible to make any judgement on the matter……………