Officials who opt for political appointments under the proposed expansion of the ministerial appointment system should not be allowed to return to the civil service, a minister says. Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue Chung-yee yesterday warned against this so-called 'revolving door' phenomenon, saying it could affect the long-standing principle of political neutrality in the civil service. 'I am worried that a revolving door arrangement would affect neutrality,' she said on an RTHK radio phone-in programme. Miss Yue made the remarks despite being the only one of the 14 principal officials under the accountability system with an option to return to the civil service at the end of her political appointment. She said on taking up her post in January that she would return to the service at the end of her ministerial appointment. Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has proposed introducing a new tier of assistants to ministers to focus on political work. He hopes the new positions would attract administrative officers, academics and members of political parties to join and help nurture political talent. A newspaper report yesterday said the assistants would be in the rank of directorate grade 2, with a monthly salary of about $110,000. Ms Yue would not comment on the report, which also said 30 such posts would be created at a cost of more than $30 million a year to taxpayers. She said the government would release a consultation document on the proposal in two to three months. The changes, if adopted, may be introduced as soon as July next year, Ms Yue said. Senior Government Officers Association chairman, Poon Wai-ming, agreed that colleagues who opted for political appointments should resign or retire. But he was concerned whether the proposed ranking and salary would be attractive enough. Mr Poon said if recruits were to be drafted from outside, they should be familiar with civil service rules and culture. A spokeswoman for the Constitutional Affairs Bureau declined to comment.