The Government has ordered a review of the cost of providing parking within the civil and public services.

It has emerged that more than €10m is to be spent this year on renting car parking spaces for civil and public servants who do not pay for the privilege.

The State owns 9,479 car parking spaces around the country according to data supplied to the Public Accounts Committee by the Office of Public Works

However, because these numbers are insufficient, a further 2,967 spaces are being rented in Dublin at an average cost per space of €2,428.

While in regional areas, there are 1,608 spaces leased by the State at an average cost of €710.

The total cost nationwide is €8.34m.

The OPW also estimates a further €2m is spent on car parking costs in buildings where parking spaces are included with the rent.

A total of €10.3m is being spent annually paying for car parking spaces around the country for civil and public servants, who pay no fee or tax in return for the benefit.

Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW Brian Hayes told RTÉ News today that it is not acceptable that such a large amount should be spent on car parking spaces. He said he has asked for an entire review of the situation.

Mr Hayes said some of the spaces are provided as part of building lease agreements.

However, he said it should be reviewed in the context of an entirely new and reconfigured public service, which the Government is intent on delivering.

Independent TD and member of the Public Accounts Committee Shane Ross said he was disappointed by the figures, which he said tell us something about the way the civil and public services are run.

He said those lower paid civil and public servants who have car parking privileges should retain them, but the highest paid should lose them.

Meanwhile, Molly Walsh, policy and campaigns officer with Friends of the Earth, said the Government and civil service should be leading the way when it comes to encouraging people to use public transport or cycle to work.

In 2009, the last government announced a €200 on workplace car parking spaces in city areas. It had been hoped to raise €10m a year from it.

A consultation process was carried out and plans drafted, but three years on the Ministerial Order giving effect to it has not been signed and the scheme has not begun.

A Department of Finance source said today the idea had not been scrapped but was "parked" for the moment.