EMBATTLED Senator Ivor Callely still has not paid back more than €6,000 that he owes the Department of Transport.
The Fianna Fáil politician, who has been at the centre of an ongoing expenses storm, told the department he was too preoccupied with his court case against colleagues in the Senate.
It has also emerged that transport minister Noel Dempsey raised concerns that an over-payment to Callely was pointed out to this newspaper.
The minister's personal secretary asked a civil servant to explain why the discrepancy in Callely's expenses had been specifically mentioned in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Sunday Tribune.
A briefing note prepared for Dempsey and other senior civil servants said that Callely's claims for mileage as a junior minister at the Department of Health had already been the subject of controversy.
During his time at that department, Callely had claimed the maximum allowable 5,000 miles each month despite living in Dublin, and continued to do so on moving to the Department of Transport.
The briefing note further explained: "Two separate claims for mileage were made relating to the month of April 2005 and each of these claims was paid, resulting in an overpayment of €3,257.
"This has been drawn to the attention of the journalist as well as the follow-up actions mentioned below [a change to expenses procedure and notification to Callely]."
An email sent by Dempsey's private secretary Veronica Scanlan said that the minister had a number of questions.
The email reads: "Why was this drawn to the attention of the journalist? When was the overpayment discovered? How was it allowed to happen?"
The response to the minister from a civil servant said: "The double payment made to minister of state Ivor Callely was brought to the attention of the journalist because the records released were presented in chronological order and the April '05 double payment stood out.
"I felt the situation needed to be explained and I made an informed judgment call (having discussed the matter with XX, XX and Secretary General) on this and it was to be open and transparent about the double payment."
The department had already written to Callely on 8 September explaining to him that the overpayment of €3,257 had been discovered in his expenses.
The letter said: "I apologise that this is only being brought to your attention at this stage.
"However, it is incumbent on me to request that you make arrangements to reimburse the department."
In response, Callely's secretary said: "I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter addressed to [the senator]... regarding expenses overpayment.
"Senator Callely is busy at present with matters relating to Seanad enquiries and your letter will be brought to his attention as soon as he resumes normal duties."
A second discrepancy in Callely's expenses at the Department of Transport of almost €3,000 was then discovered by the Sunday Tribune.
Under the byzantine arrangements for mileage allowances, a junior minister was allowed each year to claim the first 4,000 miles he travelled at a rate of €1.40 per mile.
All mileage from then on, however, could only be charged at the much lower rate of 65 cent.
Midway through the year, Callely had switched departments and on arrival at Transport had made a second claim at the higher rate, resulting in overpayment of €2,981.
A letter sent to him by the Department of Transport in late October said: "Following further examination of our records it has come to light that you were paid expenses by [us]... for 4,000 miles at an incorrect rate."
It continues: "I am sorry that this matter is being brought to your attention only at this stage.
"However, it is incumbent on me to request that you make arrangements to reimburse the department. Together with the amount referred to in my letter of 8 September, the total due is €6,238."
No response has yet been issued from Callely's office, the Department of Transport said.
Get off to a profitable sports betting start today at sportsbetting.co.uk