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Drink stock - purchases (2017)

Request

I require information detailing 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 each of the last 5 years.

I require statistics of the amount between January 2012 and January 2017.

I ask that you supply 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 House holds lists of the names and quantities of wines, beers and spirits purchased for sale by the House of Commons and, where relevant, vintage dates, since 2012:

Information relating to the amount spent by the House of Commons on purchasing wine, sparkling wine, champagne, spirits or beer in each of the last five years is withheld. We are also withholding the single-unit costs of these items. These products have been supplied at commercially competitive rates and 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. This is a qualified or non-absolute exemption and the public interest test applies.

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 amount spent on alcohol stock 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.