POLICE have done little to initiate disciplinary proceedings against senior officers despite colleagues concerns about the integrity of some commanders. This emerged yesterday in the wake of the leaking of a damning critique from the Expatriate Inspectors' Association. It said top management lacked the conviction to confront the issue of officers with doubtful integrity. The Civil Service Branch confirmed yesterday that force management 'never' or 'hardly ever' sought action under colonial regulations 56 and 57 to pursue the reprimand, dismissal or demotion of senior offi-cers. The last action, a 'severe reprimand', took place in 1988. There are 490-odd gazetted officers subject to these regulations. But in the ranks below chief inspector, the 27,000-strong group which faces a different standard of discipline, it was recently revealed that 137 officers are suspended for alleged corruption while there are 13 other internal investigations involving 30 more officers. Principal Assistant Secretary for Civil Service Duncan Pescod said he had faith in the police hierarchy. 'I think it is to the police's credit that many of the cases that come out have started as a result of their initiative,' he said. 'The processes are there. It is not easy to say the system is unduly cumbersome but I cannot say to you with hand on heart that it could also not be improved. 'It is all very well having suspicions but the rule of law must be seen very much to apply in terms of discipline.' Both of the colonial regulations are intricate and time-consuming, allowing a senior officer suspected of misconduct to vigorously contest the charges. If an adverse finding is delivered, an officer has the right to initiate appeals and take judicial action. The allegation that the police are not using the regulations follows claims last month by Senior Assistant Commissioner Pedro Ching Kwok-hoo that the force was hamstrung in delivering effective discipline because of bureaucracy in the civil service. Mr Ching has declared his desire to push for an overhaul of the rules. The Expatriate Inspectors' Association suggested, in a report which was leaked yesterday to the South China Morning Post and which summarised issues raised in a 'focus session', that certain 'very senior level commanders' were of 'doubtful integrity' and that force management lacked resolve to get tough with corrupt colleagues. They said members of the Force Anti-Corruption Strategy Steering Committee should be thoroughly screened to ensure it was beyond reproach. They suggested a practice existed where, instead of removing tainted officers, they were being 'accommodated by transfer to another post'.