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Departmental Expenditure

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the (a) Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and (b) private office of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister spent on alcohol and hospitality in 2005-06. (83104)

The following table sets out the expenditure on hospitality for the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and ODPM Private Offices in 2005-06.

Amount (£)

(a) Total ODPM hospitality spend

54,932

of which:

(b) ODPM Private Offices

20,646

The totals include £8,563 spent on hospitality by the Deputy Prime Minister's Private Office.

Hospitality expenditure in the former ODPM was incurred when officials had provided meals/refreshments for ODPM stakeholders.

The Department's finance system did not identify expenditure on alcohol separately. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

All expenditure on official entertainment was 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 cost to the public purse was of the Deputy Prime Minister’s 2005 Sustainable Communities Summit. (94818)

The net cost to the Department was £331,252. The total cost of holding the Sustainable Communities Summit 2005 was just over £2.8 million, while revenues from delegate fees and sponsorship were approximately £2.5 million.

The summit, hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister, was the biggest event of its kind ever held in this country. Some 2,000 delegates from over 150 organisations in the public, private and voluntary and community sectors took part, showing how they are working together to create sustainable communities and sharing in the expertise and experience of a range of international speakers.

The Summit House helped elicit over 200 expressions of interest in English Partnerships’ Design for Manufacture Competition, which showed how we can develop high quality housing for a construction cost of £60,000 or less per home, while also placing sustainable communities on the international agenda during the UK European presidency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who her Department funded to attend the conference on the internet and democracy in Budapest in July; and what criteria were used to select those delegates. (94827)

The Department did not directly fund any delegates to attend the event, the International eDemocracy symposium in Budapest on 26-28 July. However, sponsored delegates were invited and paid for by the International Centre for Local eDemocracy (ICELE), which will largely be funded by DCLG until March 2008. ICELE is the successor to the former Local eDemocracy National Project which was established and funded by the Department's Local eGovernment Programme.

Most of the symposium costs were covered by delegate fees and sponsorship by a number of organisations including the Council of Europe, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Serco, Tata Consultancy Services and the Department.

Delegates invited to attend the event at ICELE’s expense were either conference speakers/workshop leaders (for example, a delegation from the UK Youth Parliament) or opinion formers within local government (for example, councillors who are active bloggers). These delegates were chosen by the conference organisers.