Civil servants will be seconded to the Equal Opportunities Commission for a few months to improve their awareness, according to chairwoman Anna Wu Hung-yuk. She said civil servants ought to be more sensitive to the idea of equal opportunities in formulating policies. Ms Wu, who has headed the statutory body since last August, said in an interview with the South China Morning Post that it was hard for the commission to promote equal opportunities single-handedly. 'As a non-governmental organisation, we cannot introduce any policies. It would be much more effective for a senior official to take up the work,' she said. Through training, Ms Wu said she hoped to establish a culture of equal opportunities within the Government. 'Equal opportunities is not just a matter of individual justice. It can lower public expenditure on social security, since everyone would have a fair opportunity,' she said. She cited the Secondary School Place Allocation System. 'If we want to change any policy, we must put pressure on the Government continuously,' said Ms Wu. 'The officials always tell you to go next door [to the next department].' The commission says the allocation policy is discriminatory. Ms Wu said courses would be provided for new civil servants. She hoped training could start as soon as possible. The Civil Service Bureau had agreed to second some civil servants to the commission as either researchers or education officers for three to six months for a closer understanding of their work. Ms Wu said she had informally raised the idea of each government department appointing an officer who would be given the task of ensuring compliance with equal opportunities law. She said the initial reaction had been negative. Officials were worried they could not spare an officer. Ms Wu said she would now suggest that the officer did not have to spend all the time on equal opportunities.