Hong Kong people are unhappy at the refusal of ministers to take responsibility for their policy failures, according to a twin study by the policy think-tank SynergyNet. Last month's surveys on the government's performance gauged the views of 1,138 people - one survey was done randomly by phone and the second involved a questionnaire sent to legislators, academics and business and professional leaders. Respondents in the second survey gave the officials less than 30 points out of 100 on their willingness to accept responsibility for mistakes. The second survey's respondents also gave civil servants marks of between 44 and 69 when asked about their political neutrality and responsibility. They gave the pass mark of 50 for the way government business is conducted without corruption. The results seemed to conflict with the government's claim in its review of the ministerial system, which was released on Saturday, that top officials are now more accountable. The report said the system introduced by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa last year was the right way ahead. Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, the chairman of the think-tank, said: 'The results show that the public is unhappy not only about the sluggish economy but also with the political system. 'Mr Tung should really think about reforming the government rather than using soft approaches like admitting mistakes in public.' He said Mr Tung's administration should not assume that the departure of two ministers - financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung and security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee - would ease discontent. The government's performance was assessed based on 23 questions in five areas - accountability, responsiveness, transparency and openness, fairness and predictability, and participation. The phone survey asked 568 people from various backgrounds to rate the government's performance on a scale of 1 to 10. The second survey asked respondents to give scores on a scale of 1 to 100. Respondents in the phone survey gave the government less than four out of 10 points in all areas. The principal officials' willingness to take responsibility scored the lowest, with less than three points. In the second survey, the respondents gave the lowest point for the government's willingness to listen to criticism. The score ranged from 8 to 23. The legislators surveyed were most dissatisfied with the way the government selectively conducted public consultations, giving it a score of 16. Professor Cheung, who pointed out that the survey was done before the recent public rallies, said the middle class was the most dissatisfied over the government's performance.