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Departmental Flowers

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on flowers in the last 12 months. (266287)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) does not record expenditure under this heading. However, £28,412 was paid to florists and nurseries in 2007-08 (excluding agencies and executive NDPBs).

Flowers 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.