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Departmental Expenditure

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much was spent by her Department on food and alcohol for its staff working out of office in each year since 2001-02; (91884)

(2) how much was spent by (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies in respect of hotel and other similar privately-provided accommodation (i) in the UK and (ii) abroad for (A) Ministers, (B) staff and (C) other persons in each year since 2001-02.

The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The costs associated with hotel and other privately provided accommodation are not required to be separately identified by the Department's financial reporting system. All claims for general subsistence are in line with the Department's expenses guide and payments for alcoholic drinks are exceptional.

Under the terms of the ministerial code, travel by Ministers, and the Civil Service Management Code, Ministers and departmental officials are expected to make efficient and cost-effective arrangements. We are satisfied that all claims paid conform to these codes.