The code of practice for politically appointed officials under the new ministerial system will be disclosed next month, legislators were told yesterday. Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Suen Ming-yeung told legislators at a Finance Committee meeting that his bureau was drafting employment contracts for the officials. Areas being considered include salary packages, employment conditions and a code of practice. The proposals will be presented to the Legislative Council next month. Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa will appoint ministers to be responsible for the introduction and implementation of policy under the new system due to start in July. Professor Lau Siu-kai, associate director of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese University, said the code should regulate the behaviour of those appointed from outside the civil service. For example, they should be covered by anti-graft laws and confidentiality rules. 'There should also be regulations to avoid any conflict of interest. For example, in overseas countries, national defence officials are not allowed to join ammunition companies after they complete their service,' Professor Lau said. At the committee meeting, Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun asked if the pay of existing policy secretaries would be cut after another tier of politically appointed officials was introduced. Mr Suen said it was only the pay of the non-civil servant political appointees that was being looked at. The pay package of political appointees will be about $4 million a year. Chief Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has said the pay would have to be attractive to lure talent from the private sector to join the Government.