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The Ninth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

31/01/1810

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The Ninth Report Fees, Gratuities, Perquisites Ireland

Date of Article: 31/01/1810
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( Ireland.)— Ninth REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS [ Poft- his bills, feveral of the charges for printing, & c. appear to be extravagant, and many of the articles of finall ftationary charged at four times the price for which we are informed they are furnilhed by the King's Stationary Office in London. When we confider therefore the difficulty of checking fuch overcharges, and the great quantity of ftationary neceffarily confumed by the principal departments in the fervice of the Public, we are the more ftrongly impreffed as we proceed in our enquiries, with the expediency of eftablifhing a Stationary Office in Dublin, Eighth Report, on the plan fuggefted in our laft Report; being perfuaded that if conducted page 103. with regularity and fidelity, it would be the means of producing a very confider- able faving to the Public. In the abfence however of fuch an Eftablifhment, every Public Office having an extenfive confumption of ftationary, fhould be directed to advertife for propofals for furnifhing them from time to time with fuch quantities, including printing and binding, as they may require ; enumerating and claffing the principal articles commonly ufed by them, and providing famples of each to exhibit to the bidders. We are aware, that it may frequently become neceffary to introduce, as has been the cafe in the department under confideration, new forms of Accounts, & c. the fupply of which cannot be confxdered as comprized within the Terms of a previous contract. Provifion however fhould be made for forming under fuch circumftances a new contract, or the prices of fuch articles may be in many cafes afcertained by reference to thofe already affixed to others. Appendix, No. 34. The fdms paid t0 the Bag- maker, though lefs in the laft year than in the three preceding years, and thofe to the Engraver, are much greater than we conceive they ought to be. The Poftaaafters General fhotild endeavour by public adver- tifement to procure contra& s for the fupply of all articles required by the depart- ment, and to eftablifh regulations for the purpofe of making thofe to whofe charge they are given refponfible for the care of them. Erom the want as we conceive of proper arrangements for this purpofe, the Ironmongers bills amounting in the laft year to >£. 508. 7. 6. exhibit proofs of want of economy ; in all of them we obferve a great portion of the charges to be for the purchafe and repoir of locks and keys, the demands for which it is impoffible could fo frequently occur Ibid. if due care was ufed. Tlje clothing for the Letter Carriers, Meffengers and Mail Coach Guards, is fupplied by contract at rates that appear to us not unreafonable; but as it feems intended to diftinguiih the fervants belonging to the depar ment, by having for them a peculiar drefs, they ought to be obliged to wear i:, which, fo far as we obferve, is not generally the cafe, otherwife it will only come to be confidered as a perquifite of the fituation. In the year ending 5th January 1808, afum of^. 558. 15. 5. was expended on the article of Furniture, of which to the amount of above £. 180. appears to have been for the houfe adjoining to the Poft Office occupied by the Secretary. The pra£ tice of permitting Officers who have official houfes to furnifh them at the public expence, under no other rcftraint than their own difcretion, appears to be liable to the greateft abufe ; it takes place in the Cuftoms and Excife departments, has been introduced we find into this, becaufe of its prevalence in others, and will, we have no doubt, unlefs checked by the interference of Government, be adopted in every Eftabiifhment to which it may be confidered requifite to attach a houfe for the refidence of any of the Officers belonging to it. That it may be proper to provide furnifhed houfes at the public charge, for fuch of the chief Officers of the Executive Government, whofe appointments can only be confidered as temporary, we admit; but where, though an office may be held only at pleafure, a degree of permanence has been by long ufage attached to it, we fubmit that it will be more for the advantage of the Public, to augment if neceffary the faiaries of the Officers than to allow them a privilege, to the exercife of which we know not how to affix any limits. A fum of £. 1,242. 2. 7. has been expended in the laft year under the head of Buildings and Repairs, £. 91 u 4. 44. being on account of Carpenters work, and 333. 18. for papering and painting. The Carpenters bill is compofed of a variety of charges, fome made by the piece, others by me< ifurement, and inftead of a fworn Meafurer having been employed as is ufual in ordinary cafes, the Car- penter has been permitted to meafure the work himfelf, and affix the prices to it at his own difcretion. Whenever the charge to be incurred for the erection or repairs of any public building is likely to be confiderable, they ought to be placed under the direction of the Board of Worlds, which is refponfible to the Public for the due execution of them. This obfevvation will we truft be attended to
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