§ Mr. Norman
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff were employed in the Asylum Department of the Home Office in each year since 1997; and what the rate of absenteeism was in each year. 
§ Beverley Hughes
Records are available for the years from 2000. The number of full-time equivalent staff employed in Asylum Group was 422 in April 2000, 1,129 in April 2001 and 1,065 in April 2002.
Data is not recorded in terms of absenteeism. Sickness absence for the Home Office is recorded and published by the Cabinet Office.