The chairman of Legco's Finance Committee yesterday accused the government of bypassing the legislature in working with the Jockey Club to host Olympics equestrian events in 2008. Emily Lau Wai-hing said the Legislative Council's monitoring power over public spending would be weakened as a result. The government is not required to seek Legco funding after the Jockey Club promised to foot the $800 million bill to host the events at the Sports Institute in Sha Tin. But the club wants to keep the site afterwards. Speaking at a year-end briefing on the work of the committee, Ms Lau said such deals would weaken Legco's watchdog role. 'As the committee chair, I don't endorse such arrangements. The government should table funding requests for our approval instead of using its land to strike a deal with others,' she said. She also criticised Financial Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen's decision to advance his budget from March to February without consulting Legco. 'They come to our place to deliver the budget. I would have thought they would at least discuss it with us. This is manners.' According to figures provided by the Legco secretariat, the committee has endorsed 50 public expenditure proposals during the current session. Ms Lau said she was pleased with her own performance as committee chairwoman and would seek re-election in October. But she believed there would be 'great forces behind the scenes' working to block her bid, although she declined to elaborate. The Frontier lawmaker was apparently referring to reports that the central government's liaison office was dissatisfied with her victory over pro-Beijing member Philip Wong Yu-hong to head the committee last October and had privately criticised some pro-government lawmakers for defecting to her side. Committee vice-chairman Chan Kam-lam would not say if Ms Lau deserved another term. He said only that the operation over the past year was basically smooth. But he said Ms Lau should have maintained a firmer grip over the duration of meetings, saying lawmakers should not have been allowed to ask questions that were more related to policy rather than funding requests.