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Revenue spends €96,000 on crystal bowls and events to honour workers

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Token of gratitude: The Longford Bowl, which was presented to long-service Revenue staff in respect of their years of employment. Photo: Newbridge Silverware

Token of gratitude: The Longford Bowl, which was presented to long-service Revenue staff in respect of their years of employment. Photo: Newbridge Silverware

Token of gratitude: The Longford Bowl, which was presented to long-service Revenue staff in respect of their years of employment. Photo: Newbridge Silverware

The Revenue Commissioners last year paid out almost €30,000 on Galway Crystal bowls for 414 staff who reached a 40-year public-­service milestone at the tax office.

The €29,792 spent on the 414 Galway Crystal Longford 10-inch footed bowls was part of an outlay of €96,037 to mark the 40 years of service for the staff concerned.

Revenue bought the crystal bowls for around €72 each but the bulk of the money was spent on staging two events held by Revenue at The Printworks at Dublin Castle on February 27 and September 12 last year.

A Revenue spokesman said the main costs associated with the Long Service Awards last year had been the gifts costing almost €30,000 and with the balance of €66,000 attributable to a range of ceremony costs.

They included venue costs, catering services for 690 attendees - recipients, recipients' guests, Revenue's management advisory committee and a photographer.

The Revenue spokesman stated: "Revenue recognises the significant achievement of 40 years of public service by our staff with the presentation of a gift and long service award certificate."

He added: "Revenue's continued success in delivering our mission is down to the professionalism, determination and dedication of our people, including those who have reached the significant achievement of 40 years' public service."

This year, Revenue has paid €29,825 to Newbridge Silverware for 350 engraved ballpoint pens including two refills, as well as 350 silver frames at a total cost of €29,825 for those 350 staff who have reached 40 years' service with the Revenue in 2020.

The engraved ballpoint pens and silver frames have a combined value of around €85 based on the €29,825 outlay.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the long-service award ceremony for this year has been cancelled.

A Revenue spokesman said: "The issuing of these gifts has been deferred until normal working has resumed, in accordance with the government roadmap for reopening society and business."

The €29,792 spent on the Galway Crystal bowls in 2019 followed an outlay of €18,206 on 253 such bowls for staff who reached the 40-year milestone with Revenue in 2018. 

The Revenue's Freedom of Information (FoI) Unit declined to release copies of invoices received from Newbridge Silverware in relation to the ballpoint pens.

The FoI unit stated that the invoices contained commercially sensitive information that if released could have a negative impact on the company, both financially and commercially and could affect its competitiveness in its industry.

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The Revenue confirmation of the €60,000 spend on the two events last year follows the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) confirming in its annual report last week that it spent €7,000 on a staff event last year.

At the event, 150 people were in attendance to recognise the contribution made by Nama staff, those departing during 2019 and those remaining, in what it said was the successful achievement of Nama objectives last year. 


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