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Departmental Catering

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which (a) food and (b) drinks suppliers have been used by his Department in each of the last three years; and how much his Department paid to each such supplier in each of those years. (248380)

The Department authorises the expenditure of public funds on food and drink only where it is in the public interest and conducive to the conduct of public business. Such expenditure is in the context of a Department of over 100,000 staff dealing, on a daily basis, with many thousands of employers, suppliers and other partners.

In 1998 the Department entered into a 20 year Private Finance Initiative deal with Trillium, known as the PRIME Contract, for the provision of fully serviced accommodation, including catering, for which the Department pays a fully inclusive unitary charge. Services are delivered through a network of Service Partners and Trillium’s Service Partner for catering is Eurest. Local suppliers are used where Eurest is unable to provide a service at a particular site. Expenditure with Eurest for the three years and with the other suppliers for 2006-07 and 2007-08 is provided in the following table.

Non-Eurest expenditure information for 2005-06 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Detail is provided for the top five suppliers only, as there are almost 400 other suppliers.

Supplier

Expenditure1(£)

2005-06

Eurest

540,000

Total

540,000

2006-07

Eurest

590,000

O’Briens Sandwich Bar

40,000

Le Mange Tout

20,000

Northern Land and Leisure

10,000

Archers Catering

10,000

Celebration Caterers

10,000

Others

220,000

Total

900,000

2007-08

Eurest

760,000

MacLellan International Ltd.

90,000

O’Briens Sandwich Bar

40,000

Northern Land and Leisure

40,000

Compact Catering

40,000

Amanda’s

20,000

Others

620,000

Total

1,610,000

1 In December 2006 a software improvement was introduced on the Department’s Resource Management (RM) computer system, which enabled hospitality to be captured more accurately for the last three months of 2006-07 and for all of 2007-08. While the effect of this has caused an apparent increase in hospitality between 2006-07 and 2007-08, there is no evidence that actual hospitality expenditure has increased.