A Legco committee says Benjamin Tang has the wrong background for the job Legislators from across the political spectrum have urged Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to replace the newly appointed director of audit, Benjamin Tang Kwok-bun. The move by members of the Legislative Council's public accounts committee was an unprecedented challenge to the executive and a sign of the legislature's growing clout, experts said. All seven lawmakers on the committee said they would sign a letter to Mr Tung asking him to 'find a suitable person' to replace Mr Tang. They said his lack of professional qualifications and his background as a senior civil servant raised concerns that the independence of the Audit Commission might be compromised. It is the first time there has been cross-party support for a Legco committee to challenge a senior government appointment. Speaking after the committee met yesterday, its chairman, Eric Li Ka-cheung, said they had decided to send a letter to Mr Tung urging him to reconsider the appointment because of widespread concerns in the community. He said that Mr Tang's close ties with the government were a serious cause of concern. 'Since many administrative officers are in positions of power, [Mr Tang's] relationship with them may, in reality or in the public's perception, affect his judgment and decision,' he said. He said Mr Tang lacked the necessary professional qualifications and background, which a government or private-sector accountant would have, to be the head of the Audit Commission. Mr Tang, currently the commissioner of insurance, is due to take up his post on Monday. The position puts him in charge of the external audit of government accounts, and he will play a vital role in ensuring the administration delivers good value for money. He is the third civil service administrative officer in five years to be appointed to head independent watchdogs against government malpractice and abuse of funds. Ombudsman Alice Tai Yuen-ying took up her role in 1998, while Raymond Wong Hung-chiu was appointed this summer as commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Mr Li said it was up to the chief executive to consider the next step, as the appointment was one requiring approval from the central government. One of the committee members, Lau Kong-wah of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong, denied the committee's objection would undermine the government. 'If they find a suitable person, who is acceptable to Legco, governance would be enhanced,' he said. The Chief Executive's Office said Mr Tang's 29 years of experience in government made him eminently suitable for the job. James Sung Lap-kung, lecturer in public and social administration at City University, said the committee's decision was a sign of the legislature's willingness to challenge the chief executive. 'I don't believe the government will alter its stance. Otherwise, the executive-led government will become legislature-led,' Mr Sung said.