MORE resources should be provided to beef up the ICAC to prevent the spread of corruption in the run-up to 1997, legislator Mr James To Kun-sun said yesterday. His call follows the recent arrest of a number of government officials during investigations into separate cases. At least nine customs officers were arrested by the ICAC in a crackdown on cross-border smuggling in February, while two former civil servants were detained during an investigation into an export quota scam last month. According to government figures, the number of pursuable corruption reports involving government departments has risen by 29 per cent, from 513 in 1990 to 661 in 1992. The police alone recorded a rise of 40 per cent. The total number of pursuable reports increased by 20 per cent, from 1,390 to 1,679, in the same period. The ICAC has been allocated $386 million for the current financial year, a rise of only 1.8 per cent over last year's revised estimate of $379 million. Legislative Councillors are concerned that corruption in the Government as well as in the private sector will become more rampant in the run-up to the change-over of sovereignty. Mr To, the United Democrats' spokesman on security, said the operations and community relations divisions of the anti-corruption body should be given more resources to contain the problem. With the increasing contacts between Hongkong and China, and the listing of Chinese companies in Hongkong, Mr To said it was important to demonstrate that practices in Hongkong were different from those across the border, where corruption was common. Although the Government stressed that public service corruption had not reached crisis point, legislator Mr Simon Ip Sik-on believed the situation would only worsen as 1997 drew nearer. ''The question of 1997 is somehow bound to have a psychological effect on the people who may want to make as much money as possible,'' he said. Mr Ip, who is the deputy convenor of the Legislative Council security panel, said he would ask the Government to brief the panel on the latest situation.