Lawmaker ties departure of No 3 officer to possible Beijing-ordered 'tidy-up' The third-ranked officer in the Independent Commission Against Corruption will leave his job today amid controversy over the graft-busters' covert surveillance activities and suggestions that Beijing has ordered the chief executive to 'tidy up' the agency. Gilbert Chan Yak-shing, director of investigations (government sector) of the ICAC's operations department, has quit after 27 years and will take a job in the private sector. 'Mr Chan tendered his resignation last week due to personal reasons,' an ICAC spokesman said last night. His abrupt departure comes little more than a week after a judge threw out an ICAC prosecution against four men accused of bribing Housing Authority officers, saying the ICAC had indulged in a cynical and flagrant abuse of human rights in secretly taping a conversation between a defendant and his lawyer. It also comes just over two months after Mr Chan gave evidence in secret in a private-sector corruption case in which the judge ruled that ICAC evidence gathered by covert surveillance was inadmissible. In that case the defendants were convicted. Although Mr Chan, 50, had been in charge of government-sector investigations, his resignation had nothing to do with the Housing Authority case, the ICAC spokesman insisted. He said today would be Mr Chan's last day in his job. The veteran officer, who received the ICAC Medal for Distinguished Service in 2001, would 'take a long holiday and start a new job in the private sector later', he added, refusing to say what the new job would be. Mr Chan's assistant, Ryan Wong Sai-chu, will take over until a successor is named. Legislative Council security panel chairman James To Kun-sun said Mr Chan was 'a man of mission' who had given most of his life to the agency and had been seen as a future chief. He said it was 'rubbish' to suggest he had quit for 'a better job'. Mr To said he could not help but link Mr Chan's departure to the recent spate of controversies, including the rumour that 'tidying up' the agency was one of three 'dirty jobs' given new Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen by the central government. Mr Chan once said in an interview that he had been inspired to join the ICAC on graduation from Chinese University in 1977 by a desire to help fight Hong Kong's then-endemic corruption and by the case of corrupt police chief superintendent Peter Godber. The Godber case was a key factor in establishment of the ICAC in 1974. 'During his long service Mr Chan has dutifully and steadfastly fulfilled his anti-corruption duties with distinguished performance,' the ICAC spokesman said. Mr To said he was shocked by the resignation. He said it was very unusual for a senior official to quit without prior announcement and he would press the government for more information.