EXECUTIVE Councillors have denied deliberately shutting themselves off from the public, since the scrapping of the Office of Executive and Legislative Councillors (Omelco) complaints system. Speaking on behalf of other members, Senior Exco member Lady Dunn said criteria had been laid down for receiving public complaints. Her comments came amid criticism that the new Executive Council was shying away from the limelight and was out of touch with the community. Before the separation of two councils, the public could take their grievances to both Exco and Legco members through the now-disbanded Omelco office. ''Members of Exco do meet members of the public. Naturally, it is neither practical nor sensible to see everyone who requests a meeting with us. ''The broad criteria which we follow is that the subject matter must be one of policy falling within the purview of Exco and that the complainant will have normally first approached the departments concerned.'' She said Executive Councillors also had access to different opinions in the community through serving on other public bodies. Besides the handling of complaints, Exco members will also initiate more site visits for hands-on experience of the day-to-day operation of the Government. ''Exco members also visit government departments in order to update themselves about sentiments of those working on the ground, as well as members of the public using their services,'' Lady Dunn said. The members' initiative might help change the public perception that they have retreated behind the scene following the changes.