TOO many private member's bills could disrupt the Government's legislative programme and threaten the executive-led system, said Mr Hoare. He admitted that the surge of such bills in the past year has 'caused some concern'. 'We think it's wrong. We believe that it should be the executive authority's job to put forward policy. It's wrong also because it will disrupt the legislature programme. 'Government officials also have to spend an awful lot of time on them. There is the question of Legco resources as well,' he said. Mr Hoare argues that lawmakers can give their views on policy through panels and bills committees. A Government-Legco committee, proposed by Governor Chris Patten to bridge the executive and legislative branches but rejected by legislators, was 'still on the table', he said. Four private member's bills were introduced in the 1993-94 session. One was passed. Of the eight tabled in the most recent session, four became law. Those vetoed included the three equal opportunities bills by Anna Wu Hung-yuk. He declined to say what measures could be introduced to stop members legislating on behalf of the administration. However, he pointed to Legco's constitutional limits, which mean the Governor cannot sign laws which negate the British Government's international obligations. The Basic Law, said Mr Hoare, also has stricter procedures for the tabling of private member's bills. Article 74 says legislators cannot introduce bills that are related to public expenditure, political structure or the Government's operation. The chief executive's prior consent is needed for bills relating to government policy. Contrary to 'rubber stamp' claims by some members, Mr Hoare said Legco had made significant changes to bills such as the Employment (Amendment) Bill. Legislators, like the administration, have to accept defeat, he said. 'That's what democracy is all about . . . The Government is less authoritarian than it used to be. It just can't say 'we want to do this' and then go and do it as in the old days.' Mr Hoare said the need to have greater accountability and uphold an executive-led system did not necessarily conflict. Government officials, he argued, have begun to be increasingly conscious of the new political era. 'But one of the most difficult things for civil servants is the criticism you tend to get. In most countries, it is not the job of the civil servants to sit there, being lambasted and criticised in strong language,' he said.