Officials are under mounting pressure to provide a timetable for a review of the political system, including a study on whether principal officials should resign for making serious mistakes. Lawmakers joined forces last night to endorse a call for the Government to consider a report by the constitutional affairs panel on political development. In the report, which rounds up five months of consultation, the panel suggests the Government should conduct a review of the political system. The Government should study whether to put into the SAR's mini-constitution that principal officials should resign for making serious mistakes, the panel said. A more flexible contract system, under which principal officials could be held politically accountable for their decisions, should also be studied. But Acting Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Clement Mak Ching-hung said the Government still had plenty of time to prepare for a review and it would not change the administrative structure at this stage. 'We understand lawmakers' concerns,' he said. 'But the question is very complicated and more in-depth studies are needed. To replace the existing pension system with a contract system will mean a basic change in civil service policy. According to the timetable in the Basic Law, there is still much time for us to prepare. We are confident in getting our work done. 'The immediate task for us instead is to prepare for September's [Legco] polls and to encourage voters to vote, so that Hong Kong people can accumulate their experience in political development.' Mr Mak said the Government would only start to consider the procedures for a review after September's polls. The Basic Law states there cannot be full democracy before 2008. House Committee chairman Dr Leong Che-hung, who sponsored the motion on behalf of the committee, criticised the Government for being indifferent to having a timetable. 'What we are asking for is not an overhaul of the political system or universal suffrage, but only a review and a public consultation as soon as possible,' he said. Dr Leong, who represents the medical profession, said it was time to change the political system because functional constituency legislators - of whom he is one - had completed their historic mission. Democrat Dr Yeung Sum urged the Government to act now. 'I hope the Government will stop being an ostrich and study the contract system now, although it is a transitional measure to increase officials' accountability.' Howard Young, of the Liberal Party, suggested the Government introduce a ministerial system. 'Collective responsibility means no one is held responsible. Unlike those hidden Exco members, ministers should sit on the Executive Council and be held responsible for any policy mistake they make.' But Gary Cheng Kai-nam, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, said the panel's suggestions on reforming principal officials were enough. A timetable for a review of the political system should be consistent with the Basic Law, he said.