Non-official executive councillors admitted yesterday they could easily be bypassed by the government because top officials had sole power to decide on the agenda. They said on many key issues like the West Kowloon cultural project, they had not been consulted on the details. They were instead asked to quickly back a decision just before a policy was launched. They expected Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to address the problem when he announced his plan to revamp the Executive Council in his October policy address. A Legislative Council subcommittee yesterday said in a report that Exco and Legco had been bypassed by the government in policymaking on West Kowloon. Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun, an Exco member in 2002 and 2003, said he agreed with everything in the report. Mr Tien said it was the government's problem that Exco members had not been told enough because officials set the agenda. He said there was an urgent need to change this system. 'We have no chance to raise issues. What can we do?' Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, an Exco member since 2003, said the West Kowloon issue exposed the fragility of the present relationship between non-official Exco members and the government. 'We don't always know the details of government policies. The government chooses what to tell you and many of the fine details aren't disclosed at all until a decision is taken,' she said. Tam Yiu-chung, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, who sat on Exco from the handover until 2002, said it was not surprising that non-official members had not been told about West Kowloon in detail. 'This is how Exco functions.' Exco member Leung Chun-ying, speaking from Beijing, said non-official members had no power to decide the agenda of a meeting: 'We can only follow the agenda during the meeting.' He said there were other channels for members to express views on issues not on the agenda. 'But that wouldn't be a formal decision made by the chief executive-in-council.' Asked if he felt Exco had been bypassed by the government, Mr Leung said: 'I could not comment on that. I haven't read the report.'