327. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the amount spent by her Department on ministerial drivers and associated travel expenses for each of the past four years; the way this compares to similar expenditure for the four years 2007 to 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2526/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy will be aware, the Government introduced a number of changes for the provision of Office Holder transport during 2011. One of the consequences of that decision was that the transport arrangements in place for Ministers of State became applicable to Government Ministers, subject to very limited exceptions on security grounds. In addition, it was decided that former Presidents and Taoisigh would only be supplied with official transport for important State occasions. The revised transport arrangements came into operation for Government Ministers on 1 May 2011 and for former Office Holders on 16 June 2011.
Office Holder cars are currently placed at the disposal of the President, An Taoiseach, An Tánaiste, the Minister for Justice and Equality, the Chief Justice and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The Garda Commissioner is the Accounting Officer for the Garda Vote. In that context, I am informed by the Garda authorities that records in relation to Office Holder transport have not been maintained in respect of individual Office Holders. However, the Garda authorities have indicated that total expenditure on the provision of Office Holder transport for the periods concerned was as outlined in the following table:
With regard to the table, some of the costs arising in 2011 included costs associated with the service prior to and after the new transport arrangements had been fully introduced.