Police unions yesterday threatened to sue the Government if officers are not allowed to stay on full pay while being investigated. The vow come after the Public Accounts Committee released its report supporting an Audit Commission recommendation that treatment for police officers should be brought in line with other civil servants. Tony Liu Kit-ming, chairman of the Local Inspectors' Association, said he had written to Police Commissioner Tsang Yam-pui calling for the proposal to be scrapped. Mr Liu said union members would vote today on whether to sue the Government for breach of contract. They will collect $100 from each member for legal fees. 'If only half of our members donate, we will have about $1.3 million. If more than half vote in favour, we are going to sue,' he said. In its report, committee members criticised the way police officers were paid during suspension but supported moves by senior policemen to bring treatment for the force in line with other civil servants. The Government was also criticised for allowing disciplinary proceedings against suspended civil servants to drag on for years. The Audit Commission's report last November attacked the police for granting full pay to officers in 139 disciplinary investigation cases in 1999. It said more than $3.5 million could be saved if police were treated the same as other suspended civil servants, whose pay is halved during any criminal investigation. In yesterday's report, the committee urged the Government to 'expeditiously streamline' disciplinary procedures and speed up interdiction investigations. Department heads were also urged to follow up on prolonged cases. 'The committee finds it unacceptable that there are interdiction cases in which disciplinary proceedings have lasted even longer than criminal proceedings, and that it is not uncommon for disciplinary proceedings to last for more than a year,' the report said. At present, the commissioner may cut the pay of officers below the rank of superintendent by up to half when they are under investigation, while other civil servants receive half pay in similar situations. But nearly all suspended officers receive full pay. Mr Tsang said in an earlier committee hearing that his predecessors had failed to exercise discretion over the pay issue. The committee report accepted this explanation, saying members supported plans to change the practice.