§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many press releases were issued by his Department in the financial years(a) 1996–97, (b) 1997–98, (c) 1998–99 and (d) 1999–2000; how many have been issued in the current financial year; and what his estimate is of the total number for the current financial year. 
§ Mr. Rooker
The information is in the table.
1997 1998 1999 2000 DSS 291 311 270 411 Benefits Agency (BA) 60 42 48 — Contributions Agency (CA) 50 10 3 — Child Support Agency (CSA) 10 4 — —
1. The information given for the year 2000 includes all Press Releases issued on behalf of the Department and its agencies.
2. The production of Press Releases runs from January to December. To date we have issued 55 in the year 2001. It is not possible to estimate the number we will issue for the whole year.
3. In April 2000 the BA and CSA Press Offices merged with the DSS team and consequently all Press Releases are now categorised as DSS.