Bottled water and cups (2018)
What is the sum total spent on bottles of water and cups in all committee rooms, debate chambers and meeting rooms each year? Please provide the financial figure in pounds (£) for the years:
Please note that our response only deals with supplies for debate and meeting rooms for which the House of Commons is responsible. Some venues within Parliament are the responsibility of the House of Lords, which is a separate public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Therefore, you may wish to consider forwarding your request to them.
- What was the sum total (in pounds sterling) spent on bottles of water for all committee rooms, debate chambers and meeting rooms each year from 2013 to 2018?
This information is held by the House of Commons. There is no cost to the House to supply water because bottled water is not provided in the Chamber, committee rooms or other meeting rooms of the House. Instead, water carafes replenished from drinking water taps are available in these locations.
- What was the sum total (in pounds sterling) spent on cups for all committee rooms, debate chambers and meeting rooms each year from 2013 to 2018?
We have taken your question to mean single-use, plastic water cups, made available at these locations.
Along with the refillable water carafes described above, plastic cups for this water are available in these locations and therefore this information is held by the House of Commons. However, there is no central team responsible for purchasing and/or replenishing these water cups so to gather the information you require we would have to first locate the relevant teams or individuals responsible for this task for the various rooms and venues. As there are a large number of rooms and over 2,000 staff of the House of Commons, this is likely to exceed the limit of time/cost for which we are obliged to comply with a request, which for the House of Commons is £600.
Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act relieves public authorities of the duty to comply with a request for information if the cost of dealing with it would exceed the appropriate limit. The appropriate limit has been specified in regulations and for the House of Commons this is set at £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending 3½ working days in determining whether the Department holds the information, and locating, retrieving and extracting it. If you were to make a new request for a narrower category of information, it may be that we could comply with that request within the appropriate limit, although I cannot guarantee that this will be the case.
Please also note that it is likely that water cups purchased for these locations are also used in other places, such as drinking water fountains located in various staff offices and break-out spaces around the parliamentary estate. If this is the case, please be aware that it would be unlikely that we could disaggregate the cost of supplying cups only to the Chamber, committee and meeting rooms.