§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will estimate the rates of absenteeism in her(a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies, for (i) 1995–96, (ii) 1996–97 and (iii) 1997–98 to date; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Clare Short
(a) The estimated rate of absenteeism in Department for International Development (DFID) for the year 1995–96 was 4 per cent. Figures for 1996–97 and 1997–98 are not yet available and I will write to the hon. Gentleman when the information is to hand.
(b) DFID currently has no agencies.
(c) The estimated rates of absenteeism in public bodies for which DFID is currently responsible are:
Year Per cent. 1995–96 1.8 1996–97 2.1 1997–98 1.7