The election watchdog yesterday published guidelines banning certain civil servants from electioneering in the next year's chief executive poll, but admitted it could do little if the ban was breached. The 19-chapter document, issued by the Electoral Affairs Commission, bans directorate officers, administrative officers, policemen and government information officers from openly supporting any candidate. Other civil servants may support electioneering activities but should not use public resources or wear government uniforms when doing so, according to the commission. It is the first time the commission has issued rules governing the involvement of civil servants in electioneering. Previously, the matter was covered in internal Civil Service Bureau guidelines. Commission chairman Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing said: 'Because of the vast resources available to them, if they are to electioneer for a particular candidate, it could be interpreted as an abuse of public resources.' Mr Justice Woo admitted the commission could do little if the ban was ignored. 'It is not a criminal offence. But we can issue warning letters to civil servants,' he said. He also conceded the commission had not taken into account possible problems of canvassing activities in private buildings or schools. 'We had not considered these factors because we thought the candidates would only lobby for the support of the 800 members of the Election Committee. 'We will look into it if there are complaints,' said Mr Justice Woo. There have been concerns that some pro-Beijing schools will mobilise pupils to support Tung Chee-hwa's bid for a second term. Members of the Election Committee will vote for the next chief executive on March 24 should there be more than one candidate after the nomination period ends in February.