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Departmental Official Hospitality

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent on (a) departmental Christmas parties and (b) staff entertainment in the last three years. (243734)

The Northern Ireland Office does not allocate official funds for departmental Christmas parties.

Information on departmental expenditure specifically on staff entertainment could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Expenditure on entertainment 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, how much was spent by his Department's (a) agencies and (b) non-departmental public bodies on hosting events in the last 12 months. (244008)

My Department's agencies spent £24,238 on hosting events in the last 12 months.

Information for the Northern Ireland Office's executive non-departmental bodies is an operational matter for each of the bodies, who operate independently of Government. I would encourage the hon. Member to write to the respective chief executives. Details of the NIO's non-departmental public bodies can be found in the NIO 2008 Departmental Report:

http://www.nio.gov.uk/northem_ireland_office_departmental_report_2008.pdf.

All expenditure has to be incurred 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, which suppliers were contracted by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department in connection with events hosted in the last 12 months. (244009)

For the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and its agencies, it would only be possible to impart a full listing of all suppliers who provided goods and services in connection with hosting events, at disproportionate cost.

Information for the NIO's executive non-departmental bodies is an operational matter for each of the bodies, who operate independently of Government. I would encourage the hon. Member to write to the respective chief executives.

Details of the NIO's non-departmental public bodies can be found in the NIO 2008 Departmental Report:

http://www.nio.gov.uk/northern_ireland_office_departmental_report_2008.pdf.