Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang yesterday pledged the 190,000-strong civil service will respond positively and professionally to requests by the chief executive-designate. Mapping out the policy commitments of the civil service, she said: 'The priority for the next nine months will be to establish a close and effective working relationship between the civil service and the chief executive-designate.' But she reiterated that the principles for co-operation remained. Mrs Chan said civil servants' co-operation would be consistent with the provisions of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. It should not undermine the authority and credibility of the Hong Kong Government in discharging its responsibility for the administration of the territory before the handover. But the morale, the confidence and the efficiency of the civil service should not be undermined, she said. Mrs Chan said the civil service would move forward from the established parameters for co-operation to preparation of the practical measures that might be required. 'These will depend on the views and preferences of the chief executive-designate. 'But I can give this undertaking. 'The civil service will respond positively and professionally to whatever requests are made. I and my colleagues in the civil service recognise that we have a special responsibility to the people of Hong Kong in working for a successful transition,' said Mrs Chan at a lunch hosted by a business group. Rejecting criticism that the Governor's Policy Address lacked new initiatives, she said the Government would be even busier than usual in view of the 410 new initiatives for this year. Mrs Chan also dismissed suggestions that the Government had become a 'lame duck' and a 'sunset' administration. 'Whatever the headlines may say about dramatic disagreements and delays, the number of agreements we have concluded since 1984 shows how both sides [Sino-British] can work together,' Mrs Chan said.