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Departmental Official Hospitality

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what records his Department maintains of its expenditure on (a) official hospitality and (b) alcohol for official hospitality. (240472)

The core-Department's financial system has an expenditure category for hospitality. The system has no expenditure category for alcohol for official hospitality. The core-Department's catering services provider does not hold a licence to serve alcohol. As a general rule, expenditure on alcohol for hospitality purposes is not allowed. Were alcohol to be purchased for hospitality purposes it should be acquired through formal purchase order, or through the Government Procurement Card, both of which methods are subject to formal authorisation procedures. All expenditure, including that on hospitality, has to be incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.