Local government officials are an arrogant bunch, according to respondents to a survey covering seven provinces. 'Only 12.3 per cent of the respondents said they had contact with local government departments last year, mainly to get certain certificates, pay fees or settle other compulsory requirements,' said a synopsis of the results released last week. 'Among them, more than 64 per cent said they were not satisfied with the response they got from the various governments.' The Beijing-based Horizon Research Group surveyed 3,859 rural and urban residents aged from 16 and 60 last year under the guidance of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Respondents said they were turned off by the bad attitudes of public servants, the inefficiency of departments and the plethora of red tape. The report claimed the problems stemmed from local government employees failing to understand their role and seeing themselves as in charge of the people rather than there to serve them. Wu Baogang , a 25-year-old farmer from Tianjin , said that since a harrowing visit to a public security department to change details on his residence permit last year - when he was mistaken for a detainee - he had done his best 'to avoid any contact with government departments since'.