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Departmental Official Hospitality

Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on (a) alcohol and (b) entertainment in the last 12 months. (305533)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) records expenditure for alcohol and entertainment under the description of either hospitality or catering.

The NIO, including its arm’s length bodies but excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, spent £189,855 on official hospitality and catering in 2008-09.

This includes receptions and events held at Hillsborough Castle. These events were attended by 15,287 cross-community representatives from the police and their families, armed forces, business, charity, voluntary and criminal justice sectors across Northern Ireland.

All expenditure has to be incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.