No progress report will be issued by the government this year on the much-criticised 'accountability system', which the administration admits has not gone entirely smoothly. Despite the resignation of health secretary Yeoh Eng-kiong under the system, officials yesterday said no report would be published to mark the second anniversary of its introduction. Dr Yeoh announced his resignation after a Legco report blamed him for the mishandling of last year's Sars outbreak. Last year, the government issued a report upholding the new system as a step in the right direction, but conceded that performance and governance fell short of public expectations. Yesterday, the Constitutional Affairs Bureau said the report last year had been made to honour its promise of updating the legislature on implementation of the system. The bureau did not elaborate on why no report would be issued this time. In a reply to the South China Morning Post, the bureau said: 'We recognise the operation of the accountability system has not been entirely smooth in the past two years.' Like all major political reforms, the system needed time to develop, evolve and mature, it said. Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa stated in his January policy address that the political work of principal officials would be strengthened. This would include their links with the community, consultation with relevant sectors and organisations as well as assessing public opinion, a bureau spokeswoman said. Despite calls by some policy secretaries for a wider range of disciplinary measures rather than taking the extreme step of resignation, the government said open criticism, public apologies and resignations remained the three options available under the system. 'The chief executive will consider the overall interest of Hong Kong, the circumstances of the incident and public sentiment when deciding [the fate of the] official,' the bureau said. Political analyst Li Pang-kwong of Lingnan University said Mr Tung and his appointees had yet to appreciate the true meaning of political accountability. 'I think the direction of the system is correct but unfortunately we have not seen any significant result,' he said. Another analyst, Ma Ngok of the University of Science and Technology, said Mr Tung's team had not kept up with public opinion.