The operator of the controversial drug rehabilitation school on Lantau Island has pledged to split its finances from those of the school to make the operations more transparent and allow donors to say where they want their money spent. But the Christian Zheng Sheng Association says it may have to ask anti-corruption agents for copies of documents seized last week before this can be done. It was the latest development in a series of events that have put the Christian Zheng Sheng College in the spotlight since it began its efforts to expand into an empty school building in Mui Wo, stirring hot opposition from residents. Four days after the Independent Commission Against Corruption visited the association's premises and homes of its leaders, the two boards of directors issued a joint statement yesterday pledging to appoint an independent accountant to split the financial information of the two into separate financial reports. They said the reports would be published as soon as possible to alleviate public doubts about their finances. 'We want to address public concern by clearly showing the use of money and donations for the school in the past years in its own account book,' a member of the Christian Zheng Sheng College's board of directors Daniel Shek Tan-lei said. 'The school will have its own audited accounts and the association will have separate ones.' Professor Shek, also the chairman of the Action Committee Against Narcotics, said the college's and the association's income and spending, now in the same audited accounts, would be listed separately. 'The account books will then be able to clearly show donations for the school are only spent on school affairs and money from Comprehensive Social Security Assistance for the students is only spent on students,' he said. The boards might have to ask the ICAC for copies of the account books taken away on Friday, he said. Donors in future would be asked to state how they wished their donations to be used. 'Since the school is not a legal entity now, donors cannot write a cheque addressed to the school,' Professor Shek said. 'But this can be done in the future.' The Christian Zheng Sheng College would be independently registered as a charitable organisation, he said. At present only the association was registered. The boards were also considering drafting a list of questions and answers about operation of the association and the school and the use of donations, Professor Shek said. Regarding businesses owned by the association that offer training opportunities for the college students, Professor Shek said further studies would be carried out. 'We have to work out the relationship between the school and the association's businesses, as some college students are placed there to learn vocational skills,' he said. 'Should they receive money or not? We have to think about this in more detail later.' To allow the public to learn more about the association's work on drug rehabilitation, charitable social services in Hong Kong and the mainland, and the college, the boards had decided it was time to quicken 'our pace to separate the operation of Christian Zheng Sheng College from Christian Zheng Sheng Association'. A council member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Raphael Ding Wai-chuen, who is experienced with the accounts of non-governmental organisations and charities, said the measures were a good move to enhance operation of the association and the college. 'All NGOs' and charities' account books should be whiter than white to avoid misunderstandings concerning the use of donations and public money. It is better to turn the school into a legal entity which has its own account,' Mr Ding said. 'All information in the account book should be uploaded on a website and made public. This is the best way to build up and consolidate an NGO or charity organisation's credibility. This is the best promotion for an organisation.'