EXPATRIATE civil servants who have had their applications to switch to local terms turned down should stop complaining, an out-going senior government official has said. The director of the Architectural Services Department, Paul Corser, said officers were being turned down when they were no longer needed, either because they were too old or their past performance was not good enough. He said people trying to retain their jobs should not accuse the Government of failing to implement the new localisation policy. ''People claiming the [new] policy was not implemented is like forcing the Government to employ them. They try to use it as an excuse,'' he said. The Government announced at the end of July that overseas agreement officers could apply to transfer to local terms if they satisfied certain criteria, such as becoming a permanent resident by obtaining British Dependent Territories Citizen status and good performance at work. Mr Corser said under the policy, an officer would be offered a new contract depending on his ability, whereas previously, they could be replaced for localisation regardless of their ability. He maintained that the Government was genuine in carrying out the new measure but declined to comment on the case of Clifford Bennett, a senior quantity surveyor in his department whose application to switch to local terms had been rejected. While admitting Mr Bennett had written to him seeking clarification over the decision, he said he could not comment on an individual case. Mr Corser said one of the major problems facing the department in the past few years was that it could not recruit equally experienced officers to replace those who had left. He said the new policy empowered them with the flexibility to retain experienced staff who might otherwise have to go under the previous localisation policy. It also helped them to get rid of people they did not need. Latest statistics showed that the average experience of overseas agreement officers was 21 years, while that of new recruits was only 6.42 years, he said. ''If the department loses the expertise too fast, it will affect the standard of service,'' he said. Mr Corser, who will officially retire this week, said he was happy to see the changes over the years which brought the department to a more productive stage. But he envisaged that the huge expansion of public works programmes with no additional resources could be a problem for his successor. Mr Corser, 58 next month, said he was sad to leave the department. He joined the Government in 1962 as a building surveyor. He said he decided to retire early because he had been doing the same thing for the past 31 years. ''I am not doing anything relating to building after my retirement. I have to change my life,'' he said. ''I like horses and will work with them after I return to Britain. ''But there are a number of things that I would like to do before settling down in my home country. ''One is to walk the MacLehose Trail and the other is to visit Shanghai and probably Beijing or the Three Gorges. ''I will then take the controversial Canberra cruise back to Britain next March to start a new life in Hampshire.''