Responding to the West Rail spending blowout, Tung Chee-hwa said the Government had a duty to step up monitoring and ensure taxpayers' money was not wasted. But he repeated that he had no plans to order the Audit Commission to join investigations into why the KCRC made $1.53 billion in extra payments to West Rail contractors above their originally quoted costs. 'The KCRC is financed by public money and we should not waste it. We must have better monitoring. This is the Government's responsibility,' he told legislators. KPMG Peat Marwick has been appointed by the rail firm to conduct the audit, but concern has been raised about a possible conflict of interest. KPMG is also the accounting firm used by Siemens, the telecommunications giant that received a $100 million extra payment from the KCRC. Mr Tung said the recent move to separate the positions of KCRC chairman and chief executive officer, both formerly occupied by Yeung Kai-yin, was the first step to stronger monitoring. He did not comment on Mr Yeung's performance, but said the Government had a duty to appoint qualified people to lead public bodies. The new KCRC chairman is Michael Tien Puk-sun, head of the G2000 clothing chain and brother of Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun. Mr Tung said he believed the new chairman would make recommendations later on how to reform the KCRC. As a statutory body, the corporation had a duty to be accountable to the Government, Mr Tung said, adding its board also had a monitoring duty. In a statement yesterday, KPMG said accepting the investigation would not impair its independence to act as the auditor of the KCRC. It said KCRC was told beforehand that Siemens was also its audit client.