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Volume 504: debated on Thursday 28 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on hotel accommodation for (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants in each of the last five years. (305666)

The Ministry of Justice accounting systems do not separately identify expenditure on hotel accommodation.

To provide the relevant information at the level of detail requested for the entire Ministry would involve the disproportionate cost of collating data from our designated travel management companies as well as manual examination of large volumes of records held locally by the Ministry of Justice headquarters and its four executive agencies (the National Offender Management Service (incorporating the National Probation Service), Her Majesty's Court Service, Tribunals Service and Office of the Public Guardian).

The majority of hotel bookings are arranged through travel management companies employed by the Ministry to obtain best value for money options. All other expenditure is incurred only on production of valid receipts.

All hotel bookings by Ministers and civil servants are undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code respectively.

The annual departmental resource accounts disclose expenditure on "travel, subsistence and hospitality" in notes 10 (administration expenditure) and 11 (programme expenditure). Resource accounts were published by the Ministry of Justice for 2007-08 and 2008-09 and prior to that by the Ministry's predecessor, the Department for Constitutional Affairs. All published accounts can be found at:

Analysis of published totals to identify amounts relating specifically to hotels would incur disproportionate cost.