The Government has been sharply criticised by think-tank advisers for failing to draw up contingency plans ahead of the court ruling on mainland-born children. Part-time members of the Central Policy Unit said there had been a breakdown in the Government's alarm system. The meeting, about a fortnight ago, was the first convened by the unit's new head Dr Edgar Cheng Wai-kin since he took over from Gordon Siu Kwing-chue late last month. There are about 30 part-time members. According to one, some were taken aback by the Government's failure to prepare for losing the court case. They were surprised there had apparently been no detailed plans worked out before the court decision to cope with the possible influx of hundreds of thousands of mainlanders. The member said: 'What we have seen is that the survey [on how many mainlanders were affected by the ruling] is only to be conducted after the court ruling. The case started more than a year ago. We don't know what the Government has done over such a long period of time. 'It seems the Government does not have a full understanding and assessment of the implications. I'm not sure whether the whole Government's lost its alertness because it's been too pre-occupied with economy-related problems.' An official defended the Government, saying: 'How can we start doing a survey on the possible number of migrants beforehand? We would send the message the Government was prepared to lose the case.' A taskforce headed by Anson Chan Fang On-sang was formed after the ruling to assess the implications of the controversial verdict and ways to cope. After its first meeting early this month, Mrs Chan announced that a survey would soon begin on the total number of mainland residents now eligible for right of abode in the SAR.