Anson Chan Fang On-sang yesterday called for a halt to the proposed expansion of ministerial appointments, saying it was a band-aid solution to enable the chief executive to hand-pick more people to sell his policies. She warned against cronyism and corruption if senior civil servants eyeing political jobs had to side with ministers for career advancement. 'Every step we take should be in tune with the ultimate goal of moving towards a democratically elected government based on universal suffrage,' she said. The government should first conduct a transparent review of the so-called accountability system of ministerial appointees introduced in 2002, before asking the public to endorse its expansion, she said. The comments from the retired chief secretary came as the four-month consultation to introduce deputies and assistants to principal officials closes tomorrow. Under the proposals, the chief executive will be able to appoint deputies and assistants to strengthen the political work of principal officials. The move would also serve to help nurture political talent. Speaking at a Rotary Club luncheon, Mrs Chan said she had considerable reservations about the accountability system. 'We have seen in what way that has worked or not worked. Before we attempt to go further on this somewhat wobbly foundation, we ought to do a thorough, open and transparent review,' she said. Criticising the consultation paper as 'seriously flawed and poorly argued', Mrs Chan said it lacked vision by failing to provide a long-term model for good governance. '[The proposals] seem to be little more than a band-aid solution to strengthen the position of the chief executive by enabling him to hand-pick increasing numbers of political officials whose main job it will be to put the seal on his policies. That's not what good governance is all about,' she said. 'All these proposals do is to provide a fast track into political office for those who catch the eye of the chief executive and are ready to support his policies.' In response, a government spokesman said there would be a clear division of roles and responsibilities between the appointees and civil servants, adding that the appointees would not be drawn solely from the civil service.