HONG KONG Polytechnic formed a panel yesterday to investigate allegations of abuse of power and academic misconduct at the institution. The decision was made after polytechnic director Professor Poon Chung-kwong met 12 staff members to discuss alleged malpractices by a department head. Associate director Peter Torode said: ''The director has reached a conclusion that a more formal investigation is necessary.'' Mr Torode was appointed to chair the three-man panel, which also comprises the Dean of Faculty of Applied Science and Textiles, Dr Chan Ka-ku, and Dean of Faculty of Business and Information Systems, Professor Edwin Cheng. Mr Torode said Professor Cheng was included because the department concerned belonged to his faculty, while Dr Chan was picked because he was a highly respected member of staff. Mr Torode said they would meet staff members from the department to investigate the allegations, revealed in the South China Morning Post this week. ''We will write a report to the director in four weeks' time,'' he said.