The total amount of €1,164,086 was paid by the State in order to cover travel expenses of MPs, which, as the official figures show, are indicating an upward trend. The cost could have been much lower if airline bookings were made earlier and not at the last minute, indicated Auditor General Odysseas Michailides.
TravelWireNews Chatroom for Readers (join us)
In particular, for the purchase of air tickets, the Accounts Department of the House of Representatives cooperates with various travel agencies. According to Odysseas Michailides, for the years 2014-2017 the following sums were paid: In 2014, 80 expeditions were made abroad, 241 tickets were purchased at a cost of € 200,037. In 2015, 107 missions where carried out abroad; 280 tickets were purchased at a cost of €235,557. In 2016, 92 missions where carried out abroad, 262 tickets were purchased at a cost of € 209.178. In 2013, 113 trips abroad were made, 339 tickets were purchased at a cost of € 300,684.
According to Michaelides, on several occasions, the Accounts Department of the House of Representatives is informed about travel arrangements made by the MPs a few days before they travel and therefore is required to make bookings at the last minute. A relevant circular was issued by the Treasury of the Republic on 27/9/2016. The Acting Director of the House of Representatives, S. Socratous, said that in some cases, some unpredictable developments such as the extraordinary meetings or party obligations do not permit timely purchase of tickets or lead to their non-use.