§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many days were lost due to sickness absence in the Department in each of the last four years. 
§ Mr. Paul Murphy
In conjunction with the National Assembly for Wales, which manages my Department's personnel functions under the terms of a service level agreement, we are committed to achieving substantial reductions in the number of days lost through sickness.
The average number of working days sickness absence per staff year were as follows:
Number 1996 9.0 1997 8.3 1998 7.6 1999 7.6
1. Details cover the most recent four years for which data are available.
2. Figures for 1996–98 relate to Welsh Office, Cadw and Estyn (formerly OHMCI).
3.1999 figures relate to Welsh Office, Cadw and Estyn up to 30 June, and to Wales Office: National Assembly for Wales, Cadw and Estyn from 1 July.