Benjamin Tang vows to make lawmakers eat their words as he stands his ground against claims that he lacks the independence and qualifications for the job Controversial new director of audit Benjamin Tang Kwok-bun stood firm yesterday against cross-party opposition to his appointment. And he vowed to persuade lawmakers who doubt his independence and professional qualifications that he is up to the job. Mr Tang urged the community to give him time to prove his integrity and said he would approach his job 'independently and with transparency'. He admitted, though, that lawmakers' concerns were understandable. He said: 'I will try my best to co-operate with [the legislators], explain to them, and use my working attitude to persuade them, let them understand that my future auditing work would be fair and impartial.' He said he would strengthen communication with legislators. On Friday all seven members of the Legislative Council's public accounts committee sent a letter to Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa urging him to 'find a suitable person' to replace him. The lawmakers said they decided to take the unprecedented step because Mr Tang's lack of professional qualifications and his background as a senior civil servant raised concerns that the independence of the Audit Commission might be compromised. But the Chief Executive's Office quickly put its support for Mr Tang beyond doubt. Just six hours after receiving their letter, the office issued a statement saying Mr Tang was 'eminently suitable' for the post. Yesterday, Mr Tang said he would not resign, since it was a 'great honour' to have the trust of the chief executive and the central government. He said 29 years' experience in the civil service would benefit his work. 'There are very few people in the Audit Commission who understand the operation of the government as thoroughly ... I think this [civil service background] is of a help to me, not an obstacle.' The new audit chief emphasised his independence by saying he would sever all his ties with the civil service from tomorrow. 'I've also said that after leaving the Audit Commission, I will not take up any government posts, so my independence is beyond doubt,' he said. Dismissing criticism of his lack of professional accountancy qualifications, Mr Tang pointed out that not all the directors of audit in past years had been accountants. 'There are many professional accountants in the Audit Commission who could assist my work,' he added. Secretary for Civil Service Joseph Wong Wing-ping said he believed Mr Tang would act independently, and pointed out there had been civil servants in the post in the past. Despite the assurances, public accounts committee chairman Eric Li Ka-cheung maintained his stance and said the committee members would hold a meeting soon to discuss their next move.