About 17,000 job seekers have applied for 40 administrative officer positions in the civil service. Despite a recruitment freeze in a bid to reduce the size of the civil service, the government exempted administrative officers from the hiring ban. In July, 20 administrative officers were hired from more than 14,000 applicants, 10 fewer than the quota of 30 set for that round of recruitment. A government spokeswoman said the Civil Service Bureau was still awaiting some applications from overseas, but it had estimated that by the time all submissions were in, 17,000 will have applied. She said it was a record high for recent years. Entry-level administrative officers are paid $26,540 a month and will be posted to various policy bureaus and departments to help policy formulation. There are now more than 500 officers in the Administrative Service. The Civil Service Bureau recruitment drive began on October 1. Yesterday was the last day for applications.