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Departmental Official Hospitality

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on Ministerial hospitality in (a) 2004-05, (b) 2005-06, (c) 2006-07 and (d) 2007-08, expressed in current prices. (241233)

Departmental expenditure on ministerial hospitality is not recorded in a way that is easily identifiable and so to provide the information requested could be done only at disproportionate cost.

Expenditure on hospitality is set out in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 881W, on departmental hospitality, if he will list each of the events hosted. (243245)

The information requested is as follows:

Spring reception for representatives from the business, community and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland;

Reception hosted by the Prime Minister;

Royal Garden Party attended by HM Queen and HRH Duke of Edinburgh held at university of Ulster, Coleraine, Co. Antrim;

Summer garden party for representatives of the Northern Ireland Prison Service;

Summer garden party for representatives from the business, community and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland;

Summer reception for representatives from the business, community and voluntary sectors;

Reception to mark contribution of the General Federation of Trade Unions;

Reception to mark honorary awards made to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning;

Reception for the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee;

Reception to mark the opening of a gallery at Hillsborough Castle;

Reception for Vital Voices;

Reception for RUC Widows Association;

Reception to mark elevation of Archbishop Brady to become a Cardinal;

Reception to mark contribution of the charity Childline;

Christmas reception for representatives of the criminal justice community in Northern Ireland;

Christmas reception for representatives of the police and military community in Northern Ireland;

Christmas reception for representatives from the business, community and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland;

Christmas reception for key Northern Ireland stakeholders in London;

Reception to mark royal investiture ceremony;

Spring reception for representatives from the business, community and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland.

I also hosted several meetings with private individuals at which hospitality was provided in the course of my normal duties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 881W, on departmental hospitality, where each of the events was held. (243246)

The events referred to in the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 881W, were all held at Hillsborough Castle with the exception of the royal garden party at Coleraine, Co. Antrim and the Christmas reception held at the Northern Ireland Office in London.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 881W, on departmental hospitality, which firms were used to supply hospitality. (243247)

The hospitality referred to in the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 881W, was provided in Northern Ireland through a tendered contract with catering company Hamilton and Kirk.