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Departmental Official Hospitality

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on (i) alcohol and (ii) entertainment in the last 12 months. (305531)

Generally, the Department for Transport (DFT) operates a no alcohol policy. In exceptional cases, where the Department is holding a special event or staff are attending a venue away from their normal office and working long hours necessitating an evening meal, some limited provision of alcoholic drinks at public expense may be permitted at the discretion of a senior civil servant. Spend incurred in such situations is not centrally recorded and this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, The Driving Standards Agency, Government Car and Despatch Agency, Highways Agency, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency recorded zero expenditure on alcohol.

Entertainment costs are not recorded as a specific cost category within the Department for Transport's accounting systems. To identify such expenditure would incur disproportionate costs. However, the Government Car and Despatch Agency and Highways Agency have both recorded zero expenditure on entertainment.