THE Government has been urged to let the Law Reform Commission decide whether laws are needed to ensure freedom of information, after what has been seen as half-hearted support for the concept. Legislators yesterday condemned the Government for adopting a piecemeal approach to the issue, by introducing only administrative measures to allow public access to information. The United Democrats and some independent members insisted that legislation was the best way to protect fully the public's right to know, although the Government had said an all-embracing ordinance was not the best way forward. Legislators urged the Government to refer the matter to the Law Reform Commission. Mr Simon Ip Sik-on, the legal profession's representative in Legislative Council, said: ''By considering legislative measures in certain areas of the review, such as data protection and access to personal records, the Government has taken a piecemeal and half-hearted approach to dealing with the matter. ''Article 16 of the Bill of Rights provides the right for the public to receive and seek information. But there must be a corresponding obligation on the opposite party to provide the information. Otherwise, it will only be a sterile right,'' he said. But the Assistant Solicitor-General of the Attorney-General's Chamber, Mr Ian Deane, said the Bill of Rights did not impose such an obligation on the other party to give out information. Appointed member Miss Anna Wu Hung-yuk said she found it repugnant that the Government had used administrative measures to enact the proposed ordinance. She also said that the Public Records Office, which has recently moved to Tuen Mun, was too far away to allow for easy access to official information. After completing a review of freedom of information, the Government promised to allow individuals to check personal data provided by them and held by the Government. It also pledged to open government records from 30 years ago and before for public inspection, and repeal or amend provisions of seven pieces of legislation which were obsolete or seemed to be at odds with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. Elected legislator Miss Emily Lau Wai-hing, who is a former chairman of the Hongkong Journalists Association, said the Government should tell members whether they intended to look at other laws that might infringe press freedom. ''They have so far promised to review seven pieces of legislation, but what about the others, like the Official Secrets Acts? What is their schedule and when are we going to be told?'' she asked. Miss Lau wanted the Government to explain why it felt some laws needed reviewing, but not others.