POLICE chiefs have buried key recommendations of a consultants' report on the structure of management. Despite claiming to have 72 per cent of 116 proposals made by Coopers and Lybrand in their study of senior force management, police have not agreed to scrap a top civil servant's post or merging two top jobs in the operations wing. The report also called for the recruitment of civilians to top management posts to improve performance. It recommended grading police districts according to perceived difficulty and hitching senior command pay scales to these ratings. However, these were seen as attacking the control of headquarters and potentially undermining morale. Yesterday's briefing paper described many of these proposals as either minor or change for change's sake. Deputy Commissioner, Management, Peter So Lai-yin, was asked about his decision to leave the force next year, despite being able to continue to serve after 1997. He said he had reached full pensionability and had only sought permission to take early pre-retirement leave. Mr So also commented on the manpower planning exercise in which all officers above the rank of inspector were being personally interviewed. Of the superintendents he had seen, Mr So said only 10 per cent had indicated their intention to leave. However, the South China Morning Post understands about 30 per cent of senior officers will tell the force they are undecided about the future. Deputy Secretary for Security Ken Woodhouse said the possible loss of officers after 1997 - and force contingency plans which highlight the chance of merging police commands and eliminating certain posts - had not been considered.