SENIOR civil servants with access to market-sensitive information may have to place their investments in a blind trust, under tighter rules on declaration of personal investments. These officials - classified as tier one in a two-tier reporting system - may also be required to divest themselves of their investments within a specified period if a conflict of interest arises. According to a government information paper given to legislators, the new system will ask tier one officers to declare their investments, not only on appointment but annually. Their investment transactions over a certain value must be reported to the Civil Service Branch or their department head. Certain tier one officials, mostly branch secretaries, will have to register their interests with the branch for public inspection on request. The branch will be responsible for monitoring branch secretaries and other senior officials. Reports will be required from branch secretaries and department heads on tier one officers. The paper did not spell out which civil servants' ranks or levels will be classified as tier one. It is understood, however, that tier one will include branch secretaries, department heads and personal secretaries of senior officials. Those with no access to sensitive information will be classified as tier two. The requirement will continue that on appointment they declare their investments in Hong Kong. Directorate officers will have to report investments every two years, even if they hold a tier two post. The Government did not clearly define what was meant by 'market-sensitive information'. The paper says the tighter rules will help safeguard the honesty and impartiality of the civil service.