A FINE balance has to be struck between the power and accountability of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), despite soaring graft and secrecy surrounding the recent sacking of a high-ranking official, according to Professor Felice Lieh-Mak. As the chairman of the Advisory Committee on Corruption, Professor Lieh-Mak said recommendations made to Governor Chris Patten included mention of the possible conflict between strengthening ICAC powers to tackle corruption and making it more accountable. The ICAC's deputy director of operations, Alex Tsui Ka-kit, was sacked earlier this month, with the ICAC refusing to disclose the reason, sparking concern over whether the ICAC should be more transparent and accountable. Professor Lieh-Mak acknowledged public concern about accountability but said people ''should not overreact over one case''. She said the recent upsurge in corruption could provide a strong argument in favour of strengthening ICAC powers, including confidentiality. Professor Lieh-Mak said the Government had to seek ''the fine line'' between ICAC effectiveness and accountability. ''We have to consider how we can strengthen the operational ability of the ICAC,'' she said.