THE Government underpaid by about $1.5 million two civil servants involved in intelligence work, a High Court judge has found. The widow of Mr George Lau, who died suddenly last October aged 42, and Mr Hugh Ollerenshaw, 57, were yesterday given a declaration that they were entitled to the back pay, which also affects their pension. Mr Lau's widow, Ms Chiu Kin-ling, who is seriously ill and has three small children, stands to receive more than $1 million, and Mr Ollerenshaw, who has been in government service for 35 years, is expected to get about $500,000. In his reserved judgement, Mr Justice Jones said that when Mr Lau and Mr Ollerenshaw were employed as civilian Assistant Police Research Officers (APROs) in 1989 the pay was comparable with that of a chief inspector. A problem arose when the Government endorsed the Rennie Report in 1989 that said police should get a 12 per cent pay increase, backdated to April 1988. This did not extend to APROs, who then took action to restore parity. A settlement was reached, whereby 36 were awarded full compensation but, as recent recruits, Mr Lau and Mr Ollerenshaw were not included and they sought a declaration that they were entitled to parity. Mr Gerard McCoy had told the court that Mr Lau, formerly a police photographer, had accepted a job in June 1989. Mr Ollerenshaw accepted a job in May 1989. The Government, represented by Mr David Fitzpatrick, argued that when they were recruited, the Rennie Report had already been announced and when it was implemented the APROs' link with chief inspectors had been severed so they were not entitled to the 12 per cent increase. The judge found this was flawed, as the Rennie Report did not deal with research officers and severance between the APROs and the disciplined force was only achieved in January 1991, when Exco approved a recommendation from the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions. Mr Justice Jones said Mr Lau and Mr Ollerenshaw were entitled to rely on the parity of pay that had been in effect since 1973 and remained until January 1991. The judge held that their salary was not only that set out in the advertisements but included the 12 per cent pay increase. He awarded the plaintiffs their costs. A Legal Department spokesman said they would study the judgement before deciding whether to appeal.