The Department's policy on the provision of alcohol prohibits the supply of any alcohol paid from tax-payers' money on in-house hospitality. For external hospitality, given the significant savings being delivered by the Department and the stringent financial controls in place, such discretionary expenditure is only incurred on the rare occasions in which director-level approval is granted.
As part of the Department's ‘Act on CO2' emissions campaign, bottled water is no longer made available for meetings. However, jugs of tap water are made available upon request.
The Department's accounting systems do not identify separate expenditure on wine, other alcoholic refreshments or bottled water and because such events are managed locally by business areas, for the period from May 2010 to date, the Ministry has no central records on such expenditure. To obtain information on departmental expenditure on these specific items would involve disproportionate cost.