Appointing a non-civil servant as an aide to Tung Chee-hwa was inappropriate, independent provisional legislator Andrew Wong Wang-fat said yesterday. The post of senior special assistant is to be taken by Andrew Lo Cheung-on, who worked for Mr Tung at his family shipping firm, Orient Overseas (International). Mr Lo's salary, to be paid by taxpayers, will be $1.84 million a year, or $154,000 a month. The appointment is effective immediately. Mr Wong told colleagues: 'If you don't consider it a civil service post, there can be a lot of problems. For example, can they take up work after retirement? Can they take part in elections?' Mr Wong said that since future chief executives would also probably need senior special assistants, it made little sense to limit the position to a short-term contract. The job should fall under the regular civil service umbrella, he said. Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service Duncan Pescod defended the move. He said that appointments through non-civil service contracts were still subject to civil service regulations. 'They would need to apply [to the Government] if they wanted to take up any other employment within one year of their retirement,' he said. 'Likewise, regular civil servants cannot be posted to those posts. It doesn't create a promotional competition situation,' Mr Pescod said. '[Contracted employees] are aware [their jobs] are not postable, they are not promotable.' Legislator Ng Leung-sing said the administration should clarify the duties of the special assistant to avoid duplication. Mr Wong had criticised the fact that one of the new senior special assistant's duties was to 'maintain regular liaisons with the Chief Executive's constituencies and the Central People's Government'. 'This may leave a misunderstanding that the Chief Executive has his own private staff to help him make more contacts with those who support him,' Mr Wong said.