MANUALS have been issued to all civil service senior managers in a bid to stop the rise in corruption. As part of an education programme organised by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, 10 seminars will also be held to motivate department officers to support a clean civil service. ICAC Commissioner Bertrand de Speville outlined the measures yesterday on his return from the seventh international anti-corruption conference, in Beijing. When questioned about the perceived rise in corruption in Hong Kong's police force and civil service, Mr de Speville said the style of corruption was 'very reminiscent of the bad old days', referring to the 1970s. He said the method of operation employed by corrupt organised groups of civil servants was 'worrying'. 'We have got to be vigilant and vigorous in our enforcement and step up the education processes,' the commissioner said. 'We want to make sure it doesn't rise and is kept at its presently low levels.' Mr de Speville warned the relationship between ICAC and the police would not be 'all sweetness and light when we're having a difficult, painful operation'. The five-day conference, attended by 900 graft fighters from 90 nations, ended after firm support had been given to the idea of establishing an international anti-corruption association. 'Corruption offences are becoming much more sophisticated, it certainly doesn't recognise international borders and law enforcement agencies need to keep up,' Mr de Speville said. He conceded that if such an organisation was modelled on Interpol, it would mean private details of Hong Kong residents could be transferred to anti-corruption units throughout the world. 'There are difficult and delicate questions there, so it would have to be explored very carefully. It's not going to happen quickly.' Despite claims that Chinese officials censored at least two delegates' speeches to the conference, Mr de Speville said he had been assured in meetings that laws governing the investigation of local graft would remain unchanged after 1997. 'These are absolutely clear assurances.' He said that he was 'optimistic' the Chinese press would continue to enjoy existing freedoms and added that he trusted the Hong Kong media would continue to be 'outspoken and courageous' after the 1997 changeover. Mr de Speville said the message had come across 'loud and clear' that China recognised its serious internal corruption problems and that it was tackling it systematically and thoroughly. He said this had been conveyed in meetings with the Guangdong Provincial People's chief procurator, Wang Jun, and officials from the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. 'I say with complete conviction that they are very serious about their efforts to get to grips with corruption,' he said. Delegates to the conference - which was secured for China in 1993 after lobbying from the ICAC - had complained sections of at least two speeches had been deleted, visas refused and foreign press banned from the conference. Mr de Speville confirmed Chinese officials edited delegates' papers but said: 'It was done, I believe, with the best of intentions without the realisation that it could backfire.'