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Departmental Wines

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to ensure that English wine is served exclusively or at the request of guests at meals, parties and receptions hosted by her Department; and if she will make a statement. (164287)

All public procurement procedures must comply with the EC treaty. The key principles of the treaty, from a public procurement point of view, are the free movement of goods and services, and non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality. This legislation is designed to ensure that all public procurement across the European Union is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory.

This means that the Home Department cannot specify that it will buy goods (eg wine) only from a particular country or locality, as that would discriminate against producers from other EU member states.

However, the Government are committed to increase opportunities for small and local suppliers to tender for contracts, thus increasing competition and securing better value for money. The Home Office does this by advertising contracts on the Home Office eSourcing Portal which reduces bureaucracy in the procurement process.

The facility management contractor for the Department’s headquarters building includes a number of English wines on its hospitality menu for selection at departmental functions.