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Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Christmas functions (a) he, (b) officials from his Department and (c) officials from its executive agencies (i) hosted and (ii) attended in 2007-08; what the cost to the public purse was; and if he will make a statement. (226957)

The Department does not have any account codes or categories specifically identifying spend on Christmas functions. While the policy is not to incur this type of expense in hosting events or for attendance at events by staff, there may be a small number of occasions when senior civil servants and departmental Ministers hosted and attended Christmas functions during 2007-08. However, to try and identify any such expenditure would incur a disproportionate amount of time and cost.