The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) does not record expenditure under these headings. However, the following table shows the total costs paid to florists and nurseries in the last three financial years (excluding agencies and Executive NDPBs):
Financial Year Expenditure (£) 2005-06 26,892 2006-07 25,755 2007-08 28,412
Flowers and pot plants are generally purchased as decoration when the NIO hosts official events such as receptions, for example for military personnel returning and ceremonies such as Royal garden parties honouring community and civic leaders. Where possible, the Department will make use of these items at more than one event.
These figures also include flowers purchased for events which are held in Hillsborough castle on behalf of other parties. Although the NIO does not charge these external customers directly for the cost of flowers, an administration charge is levied to cover sundry costs.