The Legislative Council Public Accounts Committee has disagreed with the Audit Commission over whether government departments should strictly comply with internal regulations, and says one of the commission's recommendations could 'cause difficulties' for the departments'. Committee chairman Philip Wong Yu-hong said the committee's diverging views showed it was 'not a rubber stamp of the commission', while Director of Audit Benjamin Tang Kwok-bun said the commission should point out obsolete government rules in the interests of 'efficient governance' - echoing Vice-President Xi Jinping's call in Hong Kong this week. The disagreement stemmed from controversy over the use of the Trade and Industry Department Tower in Mong Kok. In its 50th report, released in April, the commission criticised the Government Property Agency for missing an opportunity to create a shopping arcade in the building's lower floors, instead earmarking the area for the Student Financial Assistance Agency despite its high commercial value. But the Public Accounts Committee's report on the Audit Commission's report, presented to the Legislative Council yesterday, noted that the property agency was correct to follow the general principle of the government's Accommodation Circular No 1/97, which says government-owned premises should be used for public facilities or government offices. 'The committee considers that audit's view, that in this case the property agency should not 'mechanically' follow existing principles and procedures on allocation of surplus accommodation, may cause difficulties for government departments in deciding whether to comply with all applicable government policies, regulations, guidelines and procedures,' Mr Wong said. Speaking after the presentation, he added: 'It is not the first time that the committee has held different views from the Audit Commission. The committee is independent and is not a rubber stamp of the commission. We have always worked impartially.' Mr Tang responded that he understood the Public Accounts Committee's concern, and the point it raised had been considered during drafting of the audit report.