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Drink stock - purchases (2016)

Request

  • The amount of money that has been spent on purchasing wine, sparkling wine, champagne, spirits or beer by the House of Commons catering and retail service.
        
  • Statistics of the amount between January 2014 and January 2016.
       
  • The name of the beverage, its single-unit cost, how many have been purchased in these two years, and if applicable, its vintage date.

 

Response

The total amount of money spent on purchasing wine, sparkling wine, champagne, spirits and beer by the House of Commons Catering Service and Retail Service (items sold in House of Commons retail outlets) between January 2014 and January 2016 was £1,196,692.This cost is entirely recovered through sales.

Details of the name, vintage date (where applicable) and how many of each beverage purchased over the period are provided:

The single-unit cost for each item is held by the House of Commons, but is withheld. These products have been supplied at commercially competitive rates. We have concluded that this information is exempt under section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the exemption for commercial interest) in that the House of Commons considers the disclosure of this information would be prejudicial to the House’s and our suppliers’ commercial interests.

We have considered the public interest in transparency in procurement processes for items destined for onwards resale being conducted in an open and honest way.  We have also considered how the disclosure of the single-unit price of each item would prejudice the negotiating position of our suppliers with other customers, placing them at a competitive disadvantage and making them less able to compete fairly out in the open market.  This would also have a negative effect on the purchasing function of the House of Commons as it would be likely to mean that prices would increase affecting our ability to run the commercial aspects of our business effectively.  In these circumstances it is our view that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

While the single-unit cost has been withheld it may help you to know how much our Catering Service and the Retail Service spent in the period January 2014 to January 2016 by type of beverage. The total amount spent on wine, sparkling wine and champagne, total amount spent on spirits and total amount on beers and ciders is provided.

It may interest you to know that House of Commons has more than halved total catering costs since the beginning of the last Parliament. Catering services including beverages are provided for customers including 13,000 pass holders, as well as members of the public and visitors. Food and drink prices are regularly reviewed and set at levels benchmarked against similar outlets outside of Parliament.