People’s Republic of China State Council Decree
The “People’s Republic of China Government Information Openness Regulations” were passed at the 165th general affairs meeting of the State Council on 17 January 2007, are hereby promulgated, and take effect on 1 May 2008
Premier: Wen Jiabao
5 April 2007
People’s Republic of China Government Information Openness Regulations
Chapter I: General Provisions
Article 1: In order to guarantee that citizens, legal persons and other organizations obtain government information according to the law, raise the transparency of government work, stimulate administration according to the law, and fully give rein to the function of government information in popular mass production, life, economic and social activities, these Regulation are formulated.
Article 2: Government information as named in these regulations, refers to information produced or acquired by government organs in the process of implementing their duties, which is recorded or stored in a certain form.
Article 3: All levels’ People’s Governments shall strengthen organizational leadership over government information openness work.
The State Council Secretariat is the controlling authority for nationwide government information openness work, and is responsible for moving forward, guiding, coordinating and supervising nationwide government information openness work.
County-level or higher local People’s Government Secretariats (Offices) or other government information openness work controlling authorities appointed by county-level or higher local People’s Governments are responsible for moving forward, guiding, coordinating and supervising government information openness work in their administrative areas.
Article 4: All levels’ People’s Governments and county-level or higher People’s Government departments shall establish and complete government information openness work systems for their administrative organs, and appoint organs (hereafter named government information openness work organs) to be responsible for daily government information openness work concerning administrative organs in their sector.
The concrete duties of government information openness work organs are:
(1) concretely undertaking government information openness matters concerning administrative organs in their sector;
(2) safeguarding and renewing open government information of administrative organs in their sector;
(3) organizing and editing government information openness guidelines, government information openness catalogues and annual government information openness work reports for administrative organs in their sector;
(4) conducting secret investigation of government information that is to be opened;
(5) other duties relating to government information openness for administrative organs in their sector.
Article 5: Administrative organs opening government information, shall abide by the principles of fairness, justice and convenience to the people.
Article 6: Administrative organs shall timely and accurately open up government information. Where administrative organs discover false or incomplete information that influences or may influence social stability, or disorder social management order, it shall issue correct government information within the scope of their duties to clarify this.
Article 7: Administrative organs shall establish and complete government information issuance coordination mechanisms. Administrative organs issuing government information involving other administrative organs, shall communicate this to the relevant administrative organ, affirm it, and guarantee that the government information issued by the administrative organ is correct and uniform.
Administrative organs issuing government information that must be approved according to relevant State regulations, may not issue it without approval.
Article 8: Administrative organs opening up government information, may not endanger national security, public security, economic security and social stability.
Chapter II: The scope of openness
Article 9: Administrative organs shall actively open up government information conforming to one of the following requirements:
(1) involving the direct interest of citizens, legal persons or other organizations;
(2) requiring the broad knowledge or participation of the social masses;
(3) reflecting situations of the administrative organ such as setup, functions, operating procedures, etc;
(4) other information that should be actively opened up according to laws, regulations and relevant State provisions.
Article 10: All levels’ People’s Governments of the county level or higher shall according to the provisions of Article 9 of these Regulations, determine the concrete content of information to be actively opened up within the scope of their duties, and focus on opening up the following government information:
(1) administrative laws and regulations, rules and normative documents;
(2) national economy and social development plans, special plans, regional plans and corresponding policies;
(3) national economy and social development statistics information;
(4) financial budgets and accounting reports;
(5) administrative undertaking-type expense programmes, basis and standards;
(6) concentrated government purchasing programme catalogues, standards and implementation situations;
(7) administrative permit items, basis, conditions, quantities, procedures and time limits, as well as the complete catalogue and handling situation of materials that need to be submitted when applying for administrative permits;
(8) approval and implementation situation of major construction programmes;
(9) policies, measures and their implementation situation in aspects of poverty relief, education, medicine, social security, employment stimulation, etc;
(10) emergency response plans for sudden public events, early warning systems and the response situation;
(11) the supervision and examination situation of environmental protection, public hygiene, production safety, foods, drugs and product quality.
Article 11: People’s Governments of cities divided into districts, county-level People’s Governments and their departments focusing on opening up government information shall also include the following content:
(1) major matters in town and country construction and management;
(2) the situation of public interest undertaking construction;
(3) the situation of levying or requisitioning of land, demolition of buildings and the concomitant compensation or subsidy expenses;
(4) the situation of management, use and distribution of budget for rescue and relief work, care for disabled servicepeople, handouts, social contributions, etc.
Article 12: Town (township) People’s Governments shall according to the provisions of Article 9 of these Regulations, actively open concrete government information content within their determined scope of duty and focus on opening up the following government information:
(1) the situation of implementing State policies concerning rural work;
(2) the situation of financial revenues and expenditure, and management and use of all sorts of special funds;
(3) the examination and verification situation of town (township) general land use plans and housing land use;
(4) the situation of levying or requisitioning of land, demolition of buildings and the issuance and use of concomitant compensation or subsidy expenses
(5) the situation of town (township) credits and debts, fund raising and labour raising;
(6) the situation of issuance of budget items such as rescue and relief work, care for disabled servicepeople, handouts, social contributions, etc.;
(7) the situation of collective township and village enterprises and other economic town and village entities’ contracting, rents, auctioning, etc;
(8) the situation of implementation of family planning policies.
Article 13: Apart from government information that should be actively opened by administrative organs according to the provisions of Article 9, Article 10, Article 11 or Article 12 of these Regulations, citizens, legal persons or other organizations may also go to State Council departments, all local levels’ People’s Governments and county-level or higher People’s Government departments to request to obtain government information corresponding to their own special needs for production, life, scientific research, etc.
Article 14: Administrative organs shall establish and complete government information issue secrecy examination mechanisms, and clarify examination procedures and duties.
Administrative organs, before opening up government information, shall conduct examination of the government information to be opened up according to the “State Secrets Law of the People’s Republic of China”, as well as other laws, regulations and relevant State policies.
Administrative organs, when they cannot determine whether or not government information may be opened up, shall report it to the relevant controlling department of the same level’s secrecy work department for determination according to laws, regulations and relevant State policies.
Administrative organs may not open up government information relating to State secrets, commercial secrets and individual privacy. But, government information relating to commercial secrets and individual privacy, where the rights holder agrees to open it up or administrative organs are convinced that not opening up might create major influence on the public interests, may be opened up.
Chapter III: Method and procedure for opening up
Article 15: Administrative organs shall open up government information that should be actively opened up through government gazettes, government websites and press conferences, as well as methods that are convenient for the masses to understand such as newspapers, radio, television, etc.
Article 16: All levels’ People’s Governments shall install government information consultation venues in State archives and public libraries, and allocate corresponding facilities and equipment, to provide convenience to citizens, legal persons and other organizations in obtaining government information.
Administrative organs may establish venues or facilities such as public consultation rooms, material request points, information announcement columns, electronic information screens, etc,. according to demand, to open up government information.
Administrative organs shall timely provide government information that should be actively opened up to State archives and public libraries.
Article 17: The responsibility for opening up government information produced by administrative organs lies with the administrative organ publishing the said government information; the responsibility for opening up government information obtained by administrative organs from citizens, legal persons or other organizations, lies with the administrative organ preserving the said government information. Where laws or regulations have separate provisions on the limits of government information openness, those provisions are to be followed.
Article 18: Government information belonging in the sphere that should be actively opened up, shall be opened up within 20 working days of the day in which said government information was formed or changed. Where laws or regulations have separate provisions on the time limits of government information openness, those provisions are to be followed.
Article 19: Administrative organs shall edit and issue government information openness guidelines and government information openness catalogues, and timely renew them.
Government information openness guidelines shall include the government information categories, arrangement systems, and means to obtain it, and content such as government information openness work organs’ names, office address, opening times, contact telephone and fax numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.
Government information openness catalogues shall contain content such as government information indexes, names, content summaries, date of production, etc.
Article 20: Where citizens, legal persons or other organizations apply to obtain government information with administrative organs according to the provisions of Article 13 of these Regulations, they shall adopt a written method (including digital text methods); where there are difficulties to adopt written methods, applicants may put applications forward orally, and the administrative organ accepting the said application will fill out the government information openness application form on their behalf.
Government information openness applications shall contain the following content:
(1) the applicant’s personal or organization name and contact method;
(2) a description of the government information content of which opening is applied for;
(3) a requirement of the form of the government information of which opening is applied for.
Article 21: Administrative departments reply to applications for opening up government information respectively according to the following circumstances:
(1) where it belongs to the open sphere, the applicant shall be notified about the method and the channel in which the government information will be obtained;
(2) where it belongs to the sphere that may not be opened up, the applicant shall be notified and the reasons explained;
(3) where it is not up to that administrative organ to open the information up according to the law or the said information does not exist, the application shall be notified, and where the government information openness organ can be determined, the applicant shall be notified of the said administrative organ’s name and contact method;
(4) where the application content is unclear, the applicant shall be notified to make alterations or additions.
Article 22: Where there is content in government information of which opening is applied for that should not be opened up, but it can be dealt with through separation, administrative organs shall provide the information content that may be opened up to the applicant.
Article 23: Where administrative organs believe that government information of which opening up is applied for involves commercial secrets, personal privacy or the lawful rights and interest of third parties may be damaged after opening up, they shall request the third party’s opinion in writing; where the third party does not agree, the information may not be opened up. But, where administrative organs believe that not opening up may create a major influence on the public interest, it shall be opened up, and the content and reasons for the decision to open up the government information will be notified to the third party in writing.
Article 24: Administrative organs receiving government information openness applications, where they are able to reply on the spot, shall reply on the spot.
Where administrative organs cannot reply on the sport, they shall reply within 15 working days from the day they receive the application; if the reply time limit needs to be extended, the government information openness work organ is responsible for agreement, the applicant shall be notified, and the reply time limit extension will at the longest not exceed 15 working days.
Where the government information of which opening up is applied for involves the lawful rights and interest of third parties, the time limit that administrative organs need to seek opinion of third parties is not calculated in the time limit provided by the second item.
Article 25: Where citizens, legal persons or other organizations apply with administrative organs for the provision of government information related to their own person such as tax collection, social guarantees, medicine and hygiene, etc., they shall show a valid identity card or certification documents.
Where citizens, legal persons or other organizations having evidence to prove that the government information records related to their own person that administrative organs provide are not correct, they have the power to request that administrative organ to rectify. Where the said administrative authority does not have the power to rectify, they shall transfer it to the administrative organ that is empowered to rectify it for handling, and notify the applicant.
Article 26: Where administrative organs rely on applications for opening up government information, they shall provide it according to the applicant’s request; where it is impossible to provide information according to the requirements of the applicant, it may be provided through arranging for the applicant to consult corresponding materials, providing copies or other appropriate forms.
Article 27: Administrative organs providing government information according to requests, apart from collectable costs and expenses such as for retrieval, copying, mailing, etc., no other fees may be collected. Administrative organs may not provide government information through other organizations or individuals in paid-for methods.
Standards for administrative organs costs and expenses for retrieval, copying, mailing, etc., will be formulated by the State Council controlling department for pricing in consultation with the State Council financial department.
Article 28: Where citizens applying for opening up government information truly have economic difficulties, corresponding fees may be reduced on application of that person, with the agreement of the government information openness work organ responsible person.
Where reading difficulties or impediments to seeing or hearing exist in citizens applying for opening up government information, administrative organs shall provide the necessary assistance to them.
Chapter IV: Supervision and guarantees
Article 29: All levels’ People’s Governments shall establish and complete government information openness work appraisal systems, social appraisal systems and responsibility investigation systems, and conduct assessment and appraisal of government information openness work at regular times.
Article 30: government information openness work controlling departments and supervision organs are responsible for conducting supervision and examination of the government information openness implementation situation.
Article 31: All levels’ administrative organs shall before 31 March every year, publish an annual government information openness work report for that administrative organ.
Article 32: government information openness annual work reports shall include the following content:
(1) the situation of administrative organs’ active opening up of government information;
(2) the situation of administrative organs not granting opening up of government information when opening up of government information is applied for;
(3) the situation of government information openness fee collection and reduction;
(4) the situation of administrative redress and raising of administrative lawsuits concerning government information openness applications;
(5) the situation of main problems and improvements existing in government information openness work;
(6) other matters that need to be reported.
Article 33: Where citizens, legal persons or other organizations believe that administrative organs have not implemented their government information openness duties according to the law, they may report this to the higher-level administrative organ, the supervision organ or the government information openness work controlling department. Organs receiving reports shall instigate and deal with them.
Where citizens, legal persons or other organizations believe that administrative organs’ concrete administrative acts in government information openness work infringe their lawful rights and interests, they may apply for administrative redress or raise an administrative lawsuit according to the law.
Article 34: Where administrative organs violate the provisions of these regulations, and do not establish or complete government information issuance secrecy examination mechanisms, the supervision organ or administrative organ of one level higher shall order rectification; where circumstances are grave, the administrative organ’s main responsible persons will be punished according to the law.
Article 35: Where administrative organs violate the provisions of these regulations, and one of the following circumstances is present, the supervision organ or administrative organ of one level higher order rectification; where circumstances are grave, the administrative organ’s directly responsible controlling person and other directly responsible persons will be punished according to the law; where it constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility will be prosecuted according to the law:
(1) not implementing government information openness duties according to the law;
(2) not timely renewing open government information content, government information openness guidelines and government information openness catalogues;
(2) collecting fees in violation of these regulations;
(4) providing government information through other organizations or individuals in a paid-for manner;
(5) opening up government information that should not be opened up;
(6) other activities violating the provisions of these Regulations.
Chapter V: Supplementary provisions
Article 36: These Regulations apply to opening up activities of government information by organizations empowered by laws or regulations having public affairs management functions.
Article 37: The opening up of information produced or obtained by public enterprise and undertaking work units closely related to the interests of the popular masses such as education, medicine and hygiene, family planning, water provision, electricity provision, gas provision, heating provision, environmental protection, public transport, etc., in the course of providing public services to society, will be implemented with reference to these regulations, concrete rules will be formulated by the relevant State Council controlling departments or organs.
Article 38: These rules take effect on 1 May 2008.
总 理 温家宝
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