The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has run up a bill of US $62,252 just to find out the time by dialing the Speaking Clock, it has just been reported by the BBC News.
An MoD spokesperson has called the extravagant spend as a “technical error that led to inadvertent spending,” the report stated.
Despite all employees from the MoD being specifically given a list of websites where they could access the time for free, they still managed to run up this shocking bill.
The BBC report stated that a total of 130,000 calls were made to the Speaking Clock over the last eighteen months, at a cost of nearly 50 cents per call, despite the ban.
More than $9,337 has already been spent this year, with 2012 hitting $29,264 and $23,344 in 2011.
In light of the multiple cuts to the country’s financial budget across all sectors, hitting in particular the Education sector and the NHS, with pay freezes and redundancies, the Labour Defense Minister, Kevan Jones has accused the Coalition Party of wasting “thousands of taxpayer pounds.” Despite their promise to make spending cuts, the Coalition has instead been reported to have given itself bonuses. Jones said:
“Personnel who have been made redundant or the public who have heard warnings from senior officers about the government’s defence cuts will worry that waste is continuing.” He went on:
“It is essential that a full ban is implemented. Ministers must give the country confidence that waste, rather than capabilities, is being cut.”
The well-known clock that relays the time was first launched in 1936, reaching its 75th anniversary 2 years ago.
In the time that it takes to pick up the receiver and dial ‘1,2,3’ for the Speaking Clock, would it not have been far quicker to look at one’s watch or mobile phone?
Written by: Brucella Newman