§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many press releases were issued by her 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 her estimate is of the total number for the current financial year. 
§ Marjorie Mowlam
The total number of press releases issued each financial year by my Department is as follows:(a) 180 in 1996–97; (b) 253 in 1997–98; (c) 264 in 1998–99; and (d) 412 in 1999–2000. In this financial year (up until the end of January) my Department has issued 281 press releases. On a purely statistical basis I estimate that for the current financial year my Department will issue approximately 337 press releases.
My press office also issues releases on behalf of the Privy Council Office.
The figure for 1999–2000 includes press releases issued by the Year 2000 Media Co-ordination Unit, which also operated from the Cabinet Office.