Home > China > Provisions of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information

Provisions of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information

Order of the State Council (No.492)

The Provisions of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information, which were adopted at the 165th utive meeting of the State Council on January 17th, 2007, are hereby promulgated, and shall come into force as of May 1st, 2008.

Premier Wen Jiabao
April 5th, 2007

Provisions of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information

Chapter I General Rules

Article 1 These Provisions are formulated for the purpose of safeguarding the legal access to government information by citizens, legal persons and other organizations, improving the transparency of government work, promoting the administration according to law and giving full play to the role of government information of serving the people’s production, living and social and economic activities.

Article 2 The term “government information” as mentioned in these Provisions refers to the information produced or acquired and recorded or kept in certain forms by administrative organs in the process of performing their duties.

Article 3 The people’s governments at various levels shall make more efforts in organizing and leading government information disclosure work.

The General Office of the State Council is the competent department of the government information disclosure work of the whole nation and is responsible for promoting, guiding, coordinating and supervising the government information disclosure work of the whole nation.

The general office of the people’s government at or above the county level or any other competent department in charge of government information disclosure work appointed by the people’s government at or above the county level shall be responsible for promoting, guiding, coordinating and supervising the government information disclosure work of this region of administration.

Article 4 The people’s governments at various levels and the departments of the people’s governments at or above the county level shall establish and improve a government information disclosure working system of their respective administrative organ, and appoint an institution (hereinafter referred to as working institution of government information disclosure) to be responsible for the daily work of government information disclosure of their respective administrative organ.

The specific duties of the working institution of government information disclosure of an administrative organ shall be:
(1) Undertaking specific government information disclosure issues of this administrative organ;
(2) Maintaining and updating the government information disclosed by this administrative organ;
(3) Organizing the compilation of this administrative organ’s directory for government information disclosure, catalogue of government information disclosure and annual report on government information disclosure work;
(4) Conducting confidentiality review on the government information to be disclosed;
(5) Other duties related to government information disclosure as prescribed by this administrative organ.

Article 5 An administrative organ shall follow the principles of impartiality, justice and bringing convenience to the people when disclosing government information.

Article 6 An administrative organ shall disclose government information in a timely and accurate manner. Where any administrative organ finds out any false or incomplete information that has affected or may affect social stability or has disturbed or may disturb social management order, it shall disclose the corresponding accurate government information within its scope of duties to clarify.

Article 7 An administrative organ shall establish and improve a coordination mechanism for government information disclosure. In case the disclosure of government information concerns any other administrative organ, it shall communicate with the relevant administrative organ for confirmation to make sure that the government information to be disclosed is accurate and consistent.

In case an approval is needed for the disclosure of government information by an administrative organ as required by the relevant state provisions, no information may be disclosed without approval.

Article 8 No administrative organ may endanger national security, public security, economic security or social stability when disclosing government information.

Chapter II Scope of Information to Be Disclosed

Article 9 An administrative organ shall voluntarily disclose the government information satisfying any of the following basic requirements:
(1) Information concerning the vital interests of citizens, legal persons or other organizations;
(2) Information that should be widely known by the general public or concerns the participation of the general public;
(3) Information reflecting the structural establishment, duties, procedures for handling affairs and other situation of the administrative organ;
(4) Other information that shall be voluntarily disclosed by the administrative organ as prescribed by laws, regulations and the relevant state provisions.

Article 10 The people’s governments at or above the county level and their departments shall, in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of these Provisions and within their respective scope of duties, determine the specific government information to be voluntarily disclosed and lay stress on the disclosure of the following government information:
(1) Administrative regulations, rules and normative documents;
(2) Development planning for national economy and social development, special planning, regional planning and the relevant policies;
(3) Statistical information on national economy and social development;
(4) Fiscal budget report and final report;
(5) Items, charging basis and charging rates of administrative fees;
(6) Catalogue of centralized government procurement items, standards and the implementation;
(7) Issues subject to administrative license, the corresponding basis, requirements, quantity, procedures, time limit and list of all the materials that shall be submitted for purposes of administrative license, and the progress of processing;
(8) Situation on the approval of great construction projects and the implementation;
(9) Polices and measures for relieving poverty, education, medical care, social security and promoting employment, etc., and their implementation;
(10) Emergency plans, early warning information and responding situation of unexpected public incidents;
(11) Situation on the supervision and inspection of environmental protection, public health, safe production, food and drugs and product quality.

Article 11 The government information of the people’s governments of the cities divided into districts, the county people’s governments and their departments, which is on top of the list for disclosure shall include the following contents:
(1) Major issues on urban and rural construction and administration;
(2) Situation on the construction of social public welfare establishments;
(3) Situation on the requisition or use of lands, demolition of houses and corresponding compensations, and the grant and use of subsidies;
(4) Situation on the management, use and distribution of funds for emergency and disasters, funds for giving special care to disabled servicemen and to family members of revolutionary martyrs and servicemen and funds contributed to the society.

Article 12 A village (town) people’s government shall, in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of these Provisions and within its scope of duties, determine the specific government information to be voluntarily disclosed and lay stress on the disclosure of the following government information:
(1) The implementation of the relevant state policies regarding rural work;
(2) Government revenue and expenditure, and the management and use of various kinds of special funds;
(3) The overall planning of land utilization and the examination and approval of the utilization of house sites of the village (town);
(4) The requisition or use of lands, demolition of houses and corresponding compensations, and the grant and use of subsidies;
(5) Situation on creditor’s rights and debts, fund-raising and labor-input of the village (town);
(6) The grant of funds for emergency and disasters, funds for giving special case to disabled servicemen and to family members of revolutionary martyrs and servicemen and funds contributed to the society;
(7) The contracting, lease and auction activities conducted by township collective enterprises and other township economic entities;
(8) Situation on the implementation of family planning policies.

Article 13 Besides the government information voluntarily disclosed by administrative organs in accordance with the provisions of Article 9, 10, 11 and 12 of these Provisions, citizens, legal persons or other organizations may, in light of their special needs for production, living or scientific research, apply to the departments under the State Council, the local people’s governments at various levels and the departments of the local people’s government at or above the county level for accessing the relevant government information.

Article 14 An administrative organ shall establish and improve a confidentiality review mechanism of government information disclosure, and clarify the corresponding procedures and duties.

An administrative organ shall, before making government information disclosure, examine the government information to be disclosed in accordance with the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Keeping State Secrets and other laws, regulations and relevant state provisions.

Where an administrative organ is not certain whether certain government information may be disclosed, it shall report to the relevant competent department or the department in charge of confidentiality work of the same level for determination in accordance with laws, regulations and the relevant state provisions.

No administrative organ may disclose any government information involving state secrets, commercial secrets or individual privacy. But in case the obligee approves or the administrative organ believes that the failure to disclose such information would result in great influence on public interests, such government information may be disclosed.

Chapter III Forms and Procedures

Article 15 An administrative organ shall disclose the government information that shall be voluntarily disclosed through government bulletins, government websites, news releases, newspapers and periodicals, broadcasting, television or any other means easy for the general public to access.

Article 16 The people’s governments at various levels shall set up a place for consulting government information at national archives and public libraries and equip with corresponding facilities and equipments to provide convenience for citizens, legal persons or other organizations to access government information.

An administrative organ may, in light of the actual needs, set up such places as public consulting room, place for demanding materials, information board and electronic information screen for government information disclosure.

An administrative organ shall provide the government information voluntarily disclosed by it to national archives and public libraries in a timely manner.

Article 17 Government information produced by an administrative organ shall be disclosed by the administrative organ; while government information acquired from any citizen, legal person or any other organization shall be disclosed by the administrative organ that keeps such information. Where it is otherwise prescribed by law or regulation on the power limit of government information disclosure, such provision shall prevail.

Article 18 Government information that shall be voluntarily disclosed by administrative organs shall be disclosed within 20 workdays since the day when such government information is formed or changed. Where it is otherwise stipulated by any law or regulation on the time limit for government information disclosure, such provision shall prevail.

Article 19 An administrative organ shall compile and publish a directory for government information disclosure and the catalogue of government information disclosure, and update them in a timely manner.

The directory for government information disclosure shall include the classification, arrangement system, and acquisition methods of government information, and the name, business address, office hours, telephone number, fax number and e-mail of the working institution of government information disclosure.

Catalogue of government information shall include the index, name, content summary, date of formation and other contents of government information.

Article 20 A citizen, legal person or any other organization shall apply to the administrative organ for acquiring government information in accordance with the provision of Article 13 of these Provisions in written form (including the form of data text); where it is really difficult for it/him to apply in written form, the applicant may apply orally, while the administrative organ accepting the oral application shall fill in the application form for government information disclosure on its/his behalf.

An application for government information disclosure shall include the following contents:
(1) Name and contact information of the applicant;
(2) Description on the content of the government information applied to be disclosed;
(3) Requirement on the form of the government information applied to be disclosed.

Article 21 With regard to the government information applied to be disclosed, an administrative organ shall give different replies in light of the following circumstances:
(1) In case it is government information that shall be disclosed, notifying the applicant of the means and channels for accessing such government information;
(2) In case it is government information that shall not be disclosed, notifying the applicant of the fact and giving reasons;
(3) In case it shall not be disclosed by this administrative organ as prescribed by law or such government information does not exist, notifying the applicant of the fact, and if it is possible to determine the administrative organ entitled to disclose such information, notifying the applicant of the name and contact information of such administrative organ;
(4) In case the applied content is ambiguous, notifying the applicant to correct or supplement.

Article 22 In case the government information applied to be disclosed contains any content that should not be disclosed, but it is possible to distinguish such content from the government information, the administrative organ shall provide those allowed to be disclosed to the applicant.

Article 23 Where an administrative organ believes that the government information applied to be disclosed involves any business secret or individual privacy and that its disclosure may damage the legal rights and interests of a third party, the organ shall solicit the third party’s opinion in written form; if the third party disagrees with the disclosure, the organ may not disclose such information, unless it believes that failure to disclose such information would exert great influence on public interests, and under such circumstance, the organ shall notify the third party of the content of the government information to be disclosed and the corresponding reasons in written form.

Article 24 An administrative organ shall give a reply on an application for government information disclosure on the spot when possible.

Where it is impossible for the administrative organ to do so, it shall give a reply within 15 workdays since the day when the application is received; if it is necessary to extend the time limit for reply, it shall obtain the consent of the person in charge of the working institution of government information disclosure and notify the applicant of it. The time limit for rely may be extended for no more than 15 workdays.

Where the government information applied to be disclosed involves the rights and interests of a third party, the administrative organ shall solicit the third party’s opinion, and the time needed therefor shall not be counted into the time limit prescribed in Paragraph 2 of this Article.

Article 25 A citizen, legal person or any other organization applying to the administrative organ for providing the government information related to his/its tax payment, social security, medical care and health, etc., shall produce his/its valid identity certificate or evidentiary documents.

Where a citizen, legal person or any other organization has evidence to prove that the related government information provided by the administrative organ is inaccurate, he/it is entitled to request the administrative organ to correct. If the administrative organ has no right to correct such information, it shall transfer it to the administrative organ entitled to correct and notify the applicant of the situation.

Article 26 An administrative organ shall provide government information in the form required by the applicant; where it is impossible to do so, it may provide such information by arranging the applicant to consult the relevant materials, providing photocopies or in any other appropriate form.

Article 27 An administrative organ may, when providing government information as applied, only collect the costs for retrieval, replication and mailing, etc., and may not charge any other fee. No administrative organ may provide government information in the form of paid service through any other organization or individual.

The charging rates for collecting the costs for retrieval, replication and mailing, etc., shall be formulated by the competent department of price of the State Council together with the department of finance of the State Council.

Article 28 In case a citizen applying for government information disclosure is really in economic hardship, upon the application of the citizen himself and the approval of the person in charge of the working institution of government information disclosure, the relevant expenses may be deducted or exempted.

Where a citizen applying for government information disclosure has any difficulty in reading, seeing or hearing, the administrative organ shall provide necessary help for him.

Chapter IV Supervision and Safeguard

Article 29 The people’s governments at various levels shall establish and improve an evaluation system, a social appraisal system and a responsibility system of government information disclosure work to evaluate and appraise the government information disclosure work on a regular basis.

Article 30 The competent department and supervisory organ of government information disclosure shall be responsible for supervising and examining the government information disclosure work conducted by administrative organs.

Article 31 The administrative organs at various levels shall disclose their respective annual report on government information disclosure work before March 31st of every year.

Article 32 The annual report on government information disclosure work of an administrative organ shall include the following contents:
(1) Its voluntary disclosure of government information;
(2) Its disclosure of government information upon application and its refusal to disclose government information;
(3) Its charging fees for government information disclosure and the deduction and exemption of the relevant fees;
(4) Applications for administrative reconsideration or binging administrative lawsuits for government information disclosure;
(5) The major problems existing in government information disclosure work and their improvement;
(6) Other issues to be reported as required.

Article 33 Where any citizen, legal person or any other organization believes that an administrative organ fails to fulfill its obligation of government information disclosure according to law, he/it may inform the superior administrative organ, supervisory organ or the competent department of government information disclosure. The informed organ shall investigate and handle it according to law.

Where any citizen, legal person or any other organization believes that a specific administrative act committed by an administrative organ in carrying out government information disclosure work has infringed upon his/its legal rights and interests, he/it may apply for administrative reconsideration or bring an administrative lawsuit according to law.

Article 34 Where any administrative organ fails to establish and improve a confidentiality review mechanism of government information disclosure as required by these Provisions, the supervisory organ or the administrative organ at the next higher level shall order it to correct and impose a penalty upon the person-in-charge of the administrative organ in case the circumstance is serious.

Article 35 Where an administrative organ violates these Provisions and falls under any of the following circumstances, the supervisory organ or the administrative organ at the next higher level shall order it to correct and, in case the circumstance is serious, impose a penalty upon the directly liable person-in-charge and other persons directly liable of the administrative organ according to law, and where a crime is constituted, the relevant personnel shall be subject to criminal liabilities:
(1) Failing to fulfill the obligation of disclosing government information according to law;
(2) Failing to update the contents of disclosed government information, directory for government information disclosure and catalogue of government information disclosure in a timely manner;
(3) Charging fees by violating the relevant provisions;
(4) Providing government information in the form of paid services through any other organization or individual;
(5) Disclosing the government information that should not be disclosed;
(6) Other behaviors going against these Provisions.

Chapter V Supplementary Rules

Article 36 These Provisions apply to the government information disclosure activities conducted by organizations which are authorized by law and regulation and have the function of administering public affaris.

Article 37 The disclosure of the information produced or acquired by the public enterprises and institutions in the field of education, medical care and health, family planning, supply of water, power, air and heat, environmental protection, public traffic or any other field closely related to the people’s interests shall be governed by these Provisions by analogy, and the specific measures shall be formulated by the relevant competent departments or institutions of the State Council.

Article 38 These Provisions shall come into force as of May 1st, 2008.

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