CIVIL servants will not be punished over a deal which allowed Hutchison Whampoa to build a high-rise complex in Garden Road, Central, in defiance of government plans. The judgment of the officers involved did not constitute any misconduct warranting disciplinary action, Acting Chief Secretary Michael Leung Man-kin said. The Legislative Council's powerful Public Accounts Committee released a report on the controversy in June, recommending that the civil servants involved be punished. It was the first time the committee had made such a recommendation. Mr Leung said yesterday: 'There is no evidence to substantiate any act of misconduct . . . The evidence indicates that the officers concerned took account of a number of considerations which they felt justified . . . 'Their judgment may now be questioned, but that does not constitute misconduct warranting disciplinary action.' The tender agreement for the site, awarded to Hutchison Whampoa, contained a loophole which allowed the company to build a high-rise complex in defiance of the zoning intentions. The lucrative 31-storey complex was five times bigger than the low-rise structure the Government intended. According to Director of Audit Brian Jenney's report last year, the then director of buildings and lands, Chau Cham-son, had failed to bind the developers to observe the intended plot ratio. Mr Chau was also blamed for not alerting the Central Tender Board to the loophole. He refused to order new tenders to be called after the inadequacies of the conditions were pointed out to him in 1989 and commended Hutchison, the highest bidder, to the board, which then made the award without detailed discussion. Hutchison sold the building last year for $350 million - $200 million more than it paid for the land. Secretary for the Treasury Donald Tsang Yam-kuen admitted at an earlier Legco hearing that the Government had made mistakes in the drafting of the conditions of sale and agreed there might have been an error of judgment in not re-tendering the project. The Public Accounts Committee report said the way government officials had handled the tendering for the site was 'inexcusable'. The committee called for a 'thorough investigation' into the case and demanded disciplinary action against the officers concerned. Mr Leung told legislators yesterday that the Central Tender Board would continue to discuss and record fully any substantial differences in tender prices in considering whether to accept a tender. He said the Government would fully commit itself to working closely with the Audit Department and the committee in the quest for the more efficient use of public funds.