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Departmental Official Hospitality

Volume 488: debated on Friday 6 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on (a) alcohol and (b) food in each of the last five years. (261155)

The Department for Work and Pensions does not separately account for its expenditure on either alcohol or food for hospitality purposes. Expenditure on alcohol and entertaining falls within the classification "Hospitality" within Managing Public Money, the use of which is strictly prescribed, and in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, which is based on the principles set out in Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety. Accordingly, alcohol is provided only as an exception and only with the specific written authority of a small number of designated senior civil servants.