Patricia Chu Yeung Pak-yu, the new chairwoman of the Equal Opportunities Commission, has pledged to run the agency in an impartial, fair and open manner. In the January issue of EOC News, Ms Chu, who was appointed to the post last month amid the biggest controversy since the commission's creation, said it was 'business as usual'. Her appointment was greeted with some scepticism by non-governmental organisations. They fear her status as a former civil servant will jeopardise the independence of the EOC. Responding to the concerns, Ms Chu, a retired deputy director of social welfare, insisted she would maintain the body's impartiality. 'In my view, what is required of the EOC chairperson, regardless of his or her background, is a strong commitment to equal opportunities,' she wrote. 'The EOC has always been impartial in handling complaint cases ... and there is a clear set of guidelines on conflict of interest for its members and staff. I shall handle all matters in a fair and open manner, and most importantly, in accordance with the law.' Ms Chu said EOC members had pledged to continue to work closely to set directions for the commission. Relations between some EOC board members were thought to have been strained by the controversy which led to the resignation of former chairman Michael Wong Kin-chow. 'We, members and staff as a team, are strongly committed to delivering quality service, and will continue to strive for the public's support,' Ms Chu wrote. She added the EOC would also focus on strengthening promotion and public education, build its capacity internally, streamline work procedures and ensure effective use of resources. Since September, Ms Chu has been involved in a review of the EOC with board member Nelson Chow Wing-sun. She said this would be completed soon and would give a 'clear vision for future directions and priorities'.