Plans to retain the Secretary for the Civil Service Joseph Wong Wing-ping as head of the prestigious administrative officer (AO) grade have run into opposition. Unionists representing senior professional staff have voiced fears Mr Wong will be biased towards the grade. Mr Wong's political appointment is also seen by one academic as in conflict with his role of representing the best of the civil service. Mr Wong was head of the administrative officers before he was chosen by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to join his ministerial team. But his political appointment has raised concerns over whether he should retain his title. The 500-strong grade has recently been asked to decide whether they want Mr Wong as their head. Options include transferring the title to the permanent secretary for the civil service, or the most senior administrative officer. Chairman of the Senior Non-expatriate Officers Association Pang Tat-choi said: 'We can accept Mr Wong as the head of the civil service. But why is he so eager to hold on to the AOs? It will give the impression that he is only concerned about their interests.' Cheung Chor-yung, senior lecturer of City University's division of social sciences and previously an administrative officer, said Mr Wong could retain his influence on promotions and deployment as head of the grade. But he believed the post should be given to Permanent Secretary for Civil Service, Anissa Wong Sean-yee. 'Mr Wong is no longer politically neutral. Why does he still play the role of head of the grade? Civil service neutrality can be easily damaged,' he said. A Civil Service Bureau spokeswoman said consultations with administrative officers were continuing.