Central Bank spent half a million euro on hotels in €1.5m outlay for travel
THE Central Bank paid online bookings site hotels.com more than €540,000 (all figures include Vat) in fees for its travelling staff last year.
The €540,499 payment to the Expedia firm is part of a €1.5m spend by the Central Bank on travel and hotels last year for its staff.
The vast bulk of the meetings relate to the work of the Eurosystem/European Central Bank and EU Supervisory Committees.
The largest payment by the Central Bank was the €715,143 paid to corporate travel consultants FCM Travel Solutions.
The €1.5m spend also includes €194,131 to Aer Lingus, €50,307 to hotel platform roomex.com and €24,799 to Ryanair.
A spokesman for the Central Bank said yesterday that in line with Government circulars the bank used the services of a travel agent - FCM Travel Solutions - during 2018.
The spokesman said: "The bank used FCM's systems for arranging flights and hotel accommodation, in addition to FCM's travel booking services to arrange travel on a limited, as needs arise, basis.
"The amounts paid to FCM include the costs of flights and hotels paid directly by FCM on the bank's behalf in addition to the related FCM service fee."
He added: "In line with our travel policy, Central Bank staff overnight accommodation is offered in line with public sector policies and spend limits.
"In order to secure the most competitive rates, the bank uses a range of sources to secure the most suitable and competitively priced accommodation - one of which is Hotels.com.
"Where practicable, the bank's policy is to book 'reasonably priced' business class hotel accommodation."
He said the bank's work necessitates attendance at international meetings.
The Central Bank also paid Sodexo Ireland €3.54m for providing catering services for the bank's 2,000 staff at North Wall Quay, Spencer Dock and Sandyford in Dublin.