§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many days were lost due to sickness absence in the Department in 2002. 
§ Alun Michael
Records are not yet available for the number of days lost due to sickness absence in 2002, but these will be announced in due course. Sickness absence figures for previous years are published in the Cabinet Office annual report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service", copies of which are placed in House Libraries.
The Department is committed to the effective management of sickness absence, and to meeting its Service Delivery Agreement target of reducing sickness absence to 6.9 days for 2003.