The fate of one-third of hospital staff quarters which have been left idle for years remains in limbo, despite a five-month inquiry by a government taskforce. The inquiry was prompted after the Director of Audit's report in April which criticised the Hospital Authority for leaving many quarters empty. The report said the notional rental of the then 64 uninhabited quarters at the Prince of Wales Hospital could amount to $17.7 million a year. Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan Fang On-sang, who briefed provisional legislators on the progress of the taskforce's work yesterday, said 360 of the 542 vacant quarters had now been put to use. About 170 have been turned into offices or common rooms for staff and 190 are used as youth centres or let out for domestic use. An authority spokesman yesterday said most vacant quarters at Prince of Wales Hospital, Eastern Hospital, and Tuen Mun Hospital had been turned into offices for staff. He said the authority was looking at the use of those still vacant. At present, the authority manages 2,641 quarters. Mrs Chan said the authority was conducting a rental valuation for the quarters and a report was expected this month. She said: 'We agree these quarters are valuable assets which should be put to good use at all times. The authority has engaged a consultant to conduct a rental valuation for quarters to be rented out in the future. 'The consultant's report will form the basis of the rental for charging incoming tenants as well as existing tenants on the expiry of their lease.' The Government is also conducting a review on publicly funded organisations to avoid double housing benefits going to their staff. An option is to require the staff to declare any previous housing benefits and ask the organisations to conduct random checks.