Calls for the disgraced former commissioner of inland revenue, Wong Ho-sang, to face a disciplinary hearing for breaching civil service rules were rejected yesterday. Mr Wong was removed from his $162,650-a-month post on Thursday after an Audit Commission inquiry for failing to declare a stake in his wife's taxation services company, J. Enterprise Secretarial and Taxation, as well as handling files relating to the company. Secretary for Civil Service Lam Woon-kwong told legislators that a disciplinary hearing, taking up to nine months and composed of officials including Mr Wong's immediate superior, might have no legal basis. Under the law, only Inland Revenue officials and auditing staff can see tax assessment files, precluding other officials from having access. At a special Legco public services panel meeting, Mr Lam said: 'I cannot imagine any official has greater authority than the audit chief to investigate Mr Wong.' The Audit Commission, Mr Lam said, had already disclosed Mr Wong's handling of files, so there was no need for a hearing to seek the facts. Mr Lam also defended the decision to terminate Mr Wong's contract, with payment of a month's notice. Mr Wong had not committed any criminal offence and had been professionally competent during his 32-year civil service career, Mr Lam said. The Public Service Commission agreed with the treatment, he added. However, Michael Ho Mun-ka, of the Democratic Party, accused the Government of being too lenient towards Mr Wong. 'It was like a thief who was only required to return the loot not be penalised after he was caught,' Mr Ho said. Mr Lam said Mr Wong, who retired last year and was on a two-year contract, had lost nearly $900,000 in gratuity, as well as his outstanding holiday and travel allowances. 'He has also lost his reputation. To me, that is very serious,' Mr Lam said. Howard Young, of the Liberal Party, asked if tax files handled by Mr Wong before he was promoted to commissioner in 1996 should also be investigated. But this was rejected by Secretary for Treasury Denise Yue Chung-yee. Ms Yue said tax files were kept for six years only and files of fraud cases could be traced back 10 years. In addition, files were not computerised until 1995. Records before that were not intact. 'Since there was no loss of public money during the three years when Mr Wong had the greatest power as commissioner, I don't think it would be worthwhile to trace back files from six to 10 years ago,' she said. 'Such an investigation would also cause a serious drain on our manpower and would affect the daily operations of the department.' Mr Wong informed the panel on Thursday night that he would not attend another of its meetings since he had explained his position in the Audit Commission report and in a statement.