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Government's response to media enquiries on the purchase of wine

     In response to media enquiries over the purchase of wine by the Government, a government spokesman gave the following reply today (June 25):

     In the past three financial years, the Chief Executive's Office, the offices of the three secretaries of departments and 12 policy bureaux purchased a total of 2,117 bottles of wine, involving a total expenditure of around $671,900 (about $317 per bottle on average). Table wines account for an overwhelming majority share of the purchase (about 99.72 per cent), while hard liquors constitute only 0.28 per cent. The quantity, expenditure, category and stock level of wine purchased in the past three years are summarised in the tables attached.

     As shown in the attached table, the average cost of wine purchased in the past financial year (2012-13) was about $230 per bottle, which is significantly lower than around $340 in 2010-11 and around $420 in 2011-12. Also, the total expenditure on wine purchase in the past financial year was 78 per cent and 80 per cent of that in 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively. The Government will continue to follow the principle of frugality and avoid extravagance.

     As required by duties, the HKSAR Government entertains different sectors of the community from time to time, including Legislative Council Members, the media, advisory bodies, members of the local community, governments of other places, diplomats stationed in Hong Kong, businessmen as well as international organisations. Wine is purchased with public funds to meet the above mentioned actual requirements, including the demand for alcoholic drinks in large-scale events. It is an established practice for individual offices and bureaux to purchase wine to meet their need, and in doing so, they have to comply with the Stores and Procurement Regulations. Bringing purchased wine is generally cheaper than ordering wine in a restaurant for immediate consumption. The expenditure involved, being part of departmental expenditure, is subject to audit.

Ends/Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:32


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