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Departmental Expenditure

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 24 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by her Department on food and alcohol for its staff working out of office in each year since 2001-02. (91916)

The Department for Communities and Local Government does not hold the information in the form requested which can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

All expenditure is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the procedures are within her Department for authorising (a) foreign visits by departmental staff on official business and (b) away day meetings by departmental staff outside government offices. (94828)

The Department’s procedures are set out in the Staff Handbook which is available electronically to staff at their workstations. These procedures are:

(a) When departmental staff are required to travel abroad on official business.

The recording, authorisation and approval for such travel is subject to the staff concerned using the electronic financial control system Systems and Applications Products—“SAP” which also tracks and checks expenditure. Both authorisation and expenditure on such travel is agreed and paid for within local administrative units.

(b) Away day meetings by departmental staff outside government offices

Authorisation of both expenditure and the venue for such meetings is subject to the approval of a designated senior official within the local administrative unit. Invoices from the venue concerned are approved for payment by the same official.