§ Mr. Laws
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the rate of staff(a) absenteeism and (b) sickness was in his Department and each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year from 1990–91 to 2002–03; what the target set is for his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office sickness absence figures are listed in the table. Absentee rates and information on FCO non-departmental public bodies absences are not stored centrally so it is not possible to provide this information without incurring disproportionate costs. However all the FCO's 10 NDPBs are small, with virtually no full-time staff.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has set a Service Delivery Agreement to reduce sickness absence to 5.6 days by the end of 2003.
Year Average number of days per officer 1997 8.9 1998 8.0 1999 N/a 2000 6.3 2001 6.6 2002 5.7
- 1. Figures for 1997 to 1998 have been uplifted to account for different recording practices in different parts of the Department and its overseas posts.
- 2. Figures for 1999 could be provided only at disproportionate costs, the method of recording changed part way through 1999.
- 3. FCO figures are recorded as total days (not working days).
- 4. It is not possible to provide figures prior to 1997 without incurring disproportionate costs.