Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much and what proportion of (a) fruit and (b) vegetables purchased by the Refreshment Department in the last 12 months was produced outside the European Union. 
Nick Harvey: No record is kept of the country of origin of fruit and vegetables purchased by the Refreshment Department and so it is not possible to estimate the proportion produced outside the European Union.
The Refreshment Department stipulates to its suppliers that produce should be grown and cultivated in the EU whenever possible, but it is sometimes necessary to purchase goods originating from the southern hemisphere in order to maintain quality, affordability and availability when produce is out of season in the EU. It is estimated that around 40 of the 300-plus fruit and vegetable items purchased by the Refreshment Department are affected by changes in season and so may at times be sourced from outside the EU. A further 25 lines, including staple crops such as bananas and pineapples, are classified as exotic or tropical and so are not generally grown in the EU.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much fish was purchased by the Refreshment Department in each of the last three years, broken down by species. 
Nick Harvey: No records are available for the quantity of fish, broken down by species, bought by the House of Commons Refreshment Department. However, the quantity of fish consumed in the Departments catering outlets in the 10 months to January 2007, and in the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06, is set out as follows:
|House of Commons Refreshment Departmentfish/shellfish consumption|
|(1) 2006-07 figures are for 10 months to end January only|
The Refreshment Department is committed to responsibly sourcing fish from well-managed and sustainable fisheries, and is developing firmer procurement policies in this area. Much work has been done over the last year to educate chefs and buyers to better understand the issues and the alternatives and the Marine Stewardship Councils Good Fish Guide is used as a reference tool by chefs planning menus. Purchase specifications have been updated to avoid buying fish from overfished stocks. The Departments fish supply contract is due to be re-tendered during 2007-08, and work has already commenced to ensure that sustainability requirements are made more explicit in the contractual specifications.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission when the last occasion was when the Commission decided not to proceed with a hitherto agreed item of expenditure following receipt of the estimates for that expenditure; and what the item of expenditure was. 
Nick Harvey: Information is not available in the form requested. However, it is not unusual for an item of expenditure not to be proceeded with if the cost is unacceptable. For example, work which is advertised for tender may come in at a higher price than had been expected. In such circumstances the scope of the work or the project design can be revisited through a "value engineering" exercise. A recent example was an office refurbishment where costs for new furniture were felt to be excessive. After value engineering, a mixture of new furniture and older furniture from stock was used to keep the overall cost acceptable.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the cost to the House was of printing and publishing early-day motions in each of the last three years. 
Nick Harvey: House of Commons printing and publishing charges are calculated in arrears by financial year are therefore available only in this form. The cost of printing and publishing early-day motions (EDMs), to the nearest £1,000, in each of the last three financial years has been:
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|