THE Housing Society cannot be blamed for its history. It was set up as a charity in 1948 and its role in the execution of public policy was limited. Its present relaxed rules of accountability on conflict of interests reflect that background. But in recent years its role has changed significantly and its status and rules must be amended to reflect its new responsibilities. Nowadays, the society not only helps manage the Government's sandwich-class housing loan scheme, but has also received considerable sums in low-interest government loans towards the construction of low-price sandwich-class flats. It can no longer deny the public the right to question its operations. At a minimum, the society should accept the scrutiny of the Government's Director of Audits. Nor can it expect public oversight to be limited to the handling of its finances. A register of members' interests is long overdue. So, too, are clear rules restricting the appointment of members' companies as consultants to the society. None of this should be taken to suggest that society members have behaved unethically. But higher public involvement inevitably involves higher standards of monitoring.