Provisional Regulations on Major Administrative Decision Procedure (Draft for solicitation of comments)

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Chapter I: General Provisions

 

Article 1: [Legislative Purpose] These Regulations are formulated so as to establish decision-making mechanisms that are scientific, democratic, and in accordance with law; to standardize major administrative decision-making conduct, to increase the quality of decision-making, and to ensure the efficacy of decision-making.

Article 2: [Range of Applicable Entities ] These Regulations apply to the procedures for local people's governments at the county level or above (hereinafter decision-making organs)making major administrative decisions.

The procedures for making major administrative decisions by departments of people's governments at the county level or above, organizations authorized by laws or regulations to have public affairs management functions, and town level people's governments, are implemented with reference to the provisions of these Regulations.

Article 3: [Range of Applicable Matters] Major decision-making as referred to in these Regulations includes the following matters:

(1) Compiling major plans in areas such as economic and social development;

(2) Drafting major public policies and measures related to areas such public service, marked oversight and management, social management, and environmental protection;

(3) Drafting major public policies and measures on development, exploitation, and protection of important natural resources;

(4) Decisions to implement major public construction projects in that administrative area;

(5) Decisions on other major matters with a major impact on social and economic development or involving major public interests or vital interests of the societal public.

Decision-making organs shall draft an annual catalog of major administrative decision-making matters on the basis of article 1 of these Regulations, together with the scope of authority in their duties and the actual local conditions, and are to release it to the public. Decisions shall be made on the matters entered into the catalog of major administrative decision-making matters in accordance with these Regulations.

Where laws or regulations have other provisions on the decision-making procedures provided in article 1 of these Regulations, follow those provisions.

The relevant laws, administrative regulations, and provisions are applied for administrative organ's decision-making procedures for employing emergency response measures on the occurrence, or imminent occurrence, of natural disasters, disasters caused by accidents, public health incidents, social safety incidents, and other such incidents.

Article 4: [The principles of scientific decision-making] Making major administrative decisions shall follow the principles of scientific decision-making; establishing a developmental ideology that is innovation, coordinated, environmental, open, and sharing; persisting in starting from the actual conditions, applying scientific methods, respecting objective principles, and adapting to the requirements of economic and social development, and the comprehensive deepening of reform.

Article 5: [The principle of democratic decision-making] The making of major administrative decisions shall follow the principles of democratic decision-making, persisting in the System of Democratic Centralism, carrying out the mass line, fully hearing the opinions of all parts of society, and safeguarding the public's participation in decision-making through multiple channels.

Article 6: The principles of decision-making in accordance with law] The making of major administrative decisions shall follow the principle of decision-making in accordance with law, persisting in strictly following the legally prescribed scope of authority, lawfully performing procedures such as public participation, expert debate, risk assessment, legality review, and collective discussion and decisions; ensuring that decision making complies with the provisions of the Constitution and laws.

Article 7: [Openness in Decision-making] The circumstances of major administrative decision-making shall be revealed in accordance with provisions, accept societal oversight, except where secrecy is to be preserved in accordance with law.

Article 8: [Supervision by People's Congresses] The circumstances of major administrative decision making are to receive the supervision of the People's Congress for that level and its Standing Committee.

Article 9: [Evaluation and Appraisal] Scientific, democratic, and lawful decision-making shall be an important content of government leadership and leading cadres' evaluations and appraisals.

 

Chapter II: Decision-Making Motions

 

Article 10: [Procedures for Initiation of Decision-making] After comments on major decision-making matters from all sides have been researched and debated in accordance with the following provisions, it shall be reported to the decision-making organ whether or not the decision-making procedure is to be initiated.

(1) Where leaders of decision-making organs submit suggestions on decision-making matters, they are given to the relevant departments or bodies to research and debate;

(2) Suggestions on decision-making matters submitted by the department to which a decision-making organ belongs or by the people's government at the level above, shall have debate on all major issues to be resolved, on the reasons and basis for the suggestion in law, regulations and policy; and on a preliminary plan for addressing the issues, and its necessity and feasibility.

(3) Suggestions on decision-making matters submitted by people's congress delegates, member of CPPCC through suggestions, proposals, or other such means; and written suggestions of matters for decision-making submitted by citizens, legal persons, or other organizations; are given to the relevant units for research and debate.

Article 11: [Determination of Undertaking Unit] Where it has been decided to initiate the decision-making procedures, the decision-making organs shall make clear what unit is undertaking the decision-making and responsible for drafting a plan for the decision-making matter, and for other such work. Where the decision-making matters involve the duties of two or more units, it shall be made clear which unit is taking the lead in the undertaking.

Article 12: [Drawing up Decision-making Drafts] In drawing up decision-making drafts, the unit undertaking the decision-making shall carry out broad and thorough research, getting a full and accurate grasp of the relevant information, and, as necessary, hearing the comments of people's congress delegates, political consultative conference members, people's organizations, basic level organizations, social organizations, and so forth.

The unit undertaking decision-making shall comprehensively organize the laws, regulations, rules, and policies related to the decision-making matter, study and debate issues of legality involved in the decision-making plan as well as issues of coordination and linkage with existing policies.

The unit undertaking the decision-making is, as nescessary, to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the decision-making matter, making analytic predictions of costs such as the investment of personnel, material, and financial resources, the consumption of resources, the environmental harm, and the preservation of stability; and of economic, social, environmental, and other such benefits.

Where there are differences between the opinions of the parties concerned, the unit undertaking the decision-making shall formulate two or more alternatives.

Article 13: [Solicitation of relevant units' opinions] Where the decision-making matters involve the duties of the relevant departments of the people's government at the same level, the people's governments at the level below,or other such units, or are closely related to those departments, the unit undertaking the decision-making shall consult with them fully; where they cannot reach a consensus opinion, the main issues of the dispute, the opinions of the relevant units, and the opinions, reasoning, and grounds of the unit undertaking the decision-making shall be reported to the decision-making organs.

 

Chapter III: Public Participation

 

Article 14: [Conditions and Methods of public participation] Except where the law provides they shall be kept secret, in decision-making matters that involved the public's vital interests or have a major impact on the their rights and obligations, the unit undertaking the decision-making shall employ methods of broadly hearing comments that are convenient for societal public participation.

The hearing of comments may be done through multiple methods, such as openly soliciting public comments, organizing hearings, convening symposia, written solicitation of comments, survey questionnaires, public opinion polls, and on-site investigation.

Article 15: [Information release, communication, and interaction] For decision-making matters that have a high-level of public attention, the unit undertaking the decision-making shall promptly and accurately release relevant information, and may use methods such as press release conferences, media interviews, and expert explanations, to conduct interpretation and explanations.

All levels of people's government at the county level or above shall strengthen the establishment of platforms for public participation, centralizing the release of information, the solicitation of comments, and feedback; and fully utilizing government websites, social media, mobile networking, and other information networks, to expand the channels for public participation, strengthening communication and interaction with the societal public.

Article 16: [Notice of Public Solicitation of Comments] Where decision-making matters are disclosed to the public for solicitation of comments, the unit undertaking the decision-making shall promptly disclose materials such as the draft decision and its explanation through government websites, and press conferences, as well as through newspapers and periodicals, radio, television and other methods facilitating the public knowing, and make clear the means for submitting comments.

The period for solicitation of public comments is usually not less than 30 days. Where there is a need to shorten this time period due to urgent circumstances, explanations shall be given when publicly soliciting comments.

Article 17: [Procedures in preparation for hearings] In addition to where laws, regulations, and rules provide that evidence shall be heard, hearings may also be convened for decision-making matters on which there major differences of opinion exist, or which make significant adjustments to the public's rights and obligations, to hear comments from all sides. The unit undertaking the decision-making, or the relevant units designated by the decision-making organ, shall release information such as the subject, time, and location of the hearing, and materials such as the draft decision and its explanation, to facilitate the public understanding the relevant circumstances.

Where it is necessary to select hearing participants, the unit undertaking the decision-making, or the relevant units designated by the decision-making organ shall fairly and openly organize the selection, ensuring that stakeholders from all sides have representatives attending the hearing, and stakeholder representatives are not to be less than 1/2 of the total number of hearing participants. The list of hearing participants shall be released to the public in advance.

Article 18: [Hearing Procedures] Hearings shall be held openly in accordance with the following procedures:

(1) The unit undertaking decision-making introduces the decision-making plan, basis, grounds, and relevant circumstances;

(2) Hearing participants state opinions, conducting questioning, examination of evidence, and debate. When necessary, the unit undertaking decision-making, or relevant experts, may make interpretations and explanations;

(3)The unit organizing the hearing is to make a record, accurately recording the comments of the hearing participants and having the hearing participants sign and confirm it.

Article 19: [Subsequent handling of opinions heard] The unit undertaking decision-making shall conduct a consolidation and sorting of comments submitted by all parts of society, and earnestly study them, adopting reasoning comments. Where there are major differences of in the public comments, the unit undertaking decision-making shall further research and debate, improving the decision-making draft.

The main comments submitted by all parts of society, and the conditions of their research and handling, shall be promptly disclosed as feedback.

 

Chapter IV: Expert Debate

 

Article 20: [Debate content, and work requirements] Where decision-making matters are have a strongly professional or technical character, and expert debate needs to be conducted, the unit undertaking decision-making shall organize experts or professional bodies to debate its necessity, feasibility, and scientificness.

Experts and professional bodies shall independently carry out debate work; objectively, fairly and scientifically submitting debate comments and lawfully bear an obligation to preserve the secrecy of any state secrets or commercial secrets they learn of; and where debate comments are provided in writing, they shall be signed or have a seal affixed.

The research, handling of debate opinions, and the reasons, should be feedback to the experts and professional bodies that submitted debate comments

Article 21: [Debate methods and working mechanisms] The unit undertaking decision-making and organizing expert debate may employ methods such as debate hearings, written inquiries, entrusting inquiries to a consultant, and so fort.

The selection of experts or professional bodies shall emphasize their expertise and representatives. Where there are major differences of opinion on issues for debate, there all be participants representing all the different opinions in the debate. Experts and professional organizations that have direct interests in the decision-making matter, must not be selected.

The unit undertaking decision-making shall publicly disclose information related to the experts and professional bodies.

Article 22: [Expert Pool System] Provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality people's governments shall establish a pool of experts for consultation and debate on decisions, regulate the expert pool's operational management, credibility review, and removal mechanisms.

Districted city level people's governments, and County Level people's governments, with the capacity are to establish establish a pool of experts for consultation and debate on decisions.

Where decision-making organs have not established a pool of experts, they may use the experts pool of the administrative body at the level above.

 

Chapter V: Risk Assessment

 

Article 23: [The content of risk assessment] Where the implementation of major administrative decisions might cause a major adverse impact on the ecological environment, social stability, or other such areas, the unit undertaking decision-making, or the relevant units designated by the decision-making organ,shall organize an assessment of the draft decision' reliability and ability to contain the risk.

Where relevant laws or regulations already call for an appraisal or assessment of risk, do not make a redundant assessment.

Article 24: [risk assessment mechanisms] Public opinion tracking, sampling surveys, visits to key areas, consultation and analysis, or other such methods, may be used to conduct risk assessment, comprehensively looking for sources of risk and risk points, using methods such as qualitative and quantitative analysis to conduct a scientific prediction and comprehensive analytic judgment of the decision's risk. In conducting risk assessments, the comments of relevant departments shall be heard, a risk assessment report shall be formed, designating the level of risk and submitting risk prevention measures and a response plan.

The unit undertaking decision-making, or the relevant units designated by the decision-making organs, may, as necessary, carry out third-party assessment by bringing in social organizations, professional bodies, and so forth.

Article 25: [risk assessment conclusions and operations] The risk assessment conclusions shall be a major basis for major administrative decision-making. Where the decision-making organs feel that risk is containable, they may make a decision; where they feel the risk is uncontainable, they must not make the decision, or shall adjust the decision plan, and re-conduct decision-making when they ensure the risk is containable.

 

Chapter VI: Legality Review

 

Article 26: [Legality Review is a Necessary Procedure] Before decision-making matters are submitted to the Decision-making organs for discussion, the decision-making organs' legal bodies shall conduct a legality review. Solicitation of comments and other means must not be substituted for legality review.

Where there was no legality review of decision-making matters, or they were found unlawful upon review, they must not be submitted to the decision-making organs for discussion.

Legal bodies of decision-making organs conducting legality reviews shall give full play to the role of government legal consultants and government lawyers.

Article 27: [Materials and Timing Requirements for Legality Reviews] Submissions requesting legality review shall provide a decision making draft and related materials, including relevant laws, regulations, and rules that are its basis, research and debate opinions, and the circumstances of performing legally prescribed decision-making procedures. Where the materials provided do not meet the requirements, the legal body may request the be supplemented or return them.

Submissions requesting legality review shall ensure the necessary time for review, and must not usually be less than 10 days.

Article 28: [Content of legality review] Legality review includes:

(1) Whether decision-making matters conform to the decision-making organ's legally prescribed scope of authority;

(2) Whether decision-making complied with legally prescribed procedures;

(3) Whether the content for decision-making conforms with relevant laws, regulations, and rules.

Article 29: [Submission of legality review comments and subsequent disposition] Decision-making organs' legal bodies conducting legality reviews on the basis of article 28 of these Regulations, are to issue a review opinion. The unit undertaking the decision-making is to make appropriate adjustments and supplements ion the basis of legality review opinions.

 

Chapter VII: Collective Deliberation of Decisions

 

Article 30: [Materials that must be sent in submissions for discussion] Submissions of decision-making matters to the decision-making organs for discussion, shall send the following materials:

(1) draft decisions and related materials;

(2) Where public participation was conducted, the main comments submitted by the public, the handling of the comments, and an explanation of the reasons are to be sent at the same time.

(3) Where expert debate was conducted, the experts' comments, the handling of the comments, and an explanation of the reasons are to be sent at the same time.

(4) Where risk assessment was conducted, materials related to the risk assessment are to be submitted at the same time;

(5) Legality review opinions;

(6) other materials that need to be sent.

Article 31:[Decision-making through group discussion] Decision-making shall be upon discussion by the executive or plenary meeting of a decision-making organ,and the chief executive is to make a decision on the foundation of the collective discussion.

The discussion of decision-making matters shall ensure that the meeting's constituent members fully express their views, and the Chief Executive is to express their views last. Where the decision proposed by the chief executive differs from the opinion of a majority of constituent members attending the meeting, the reason shall be explained at the meeting.

The comments of constituent members, the circumstances of discussions, and the decision, shall be truthfully recorded, and different opinions shall be indicated.

Article 32: [Openness in decision making] Decision-making organs shall promptly disclose the outcome of decision-making, and its basis, through government bulletins, government websites, and press conferences, as well as through newspapers and periodicals, radio, television and other methods facilitating the public knowing, except for where secrecy shall be preserved in accordance with law.

Article 33: [Decision Archives System] The decision-making organ shall establish a system of decision-making files, and the relevant units are to promptly archive the intact relevant materials that were formed in carrying out the decision-making procedures.

 

 

Chapter VIII: Implementation of Decisions

 

Article 34: [Duties of Units Implementing Decisions] The decision-making organs shall clarify the unit implementing the decision. The unit implementing the decision shall fully, promptly, and correctly implement the decision, and report on the implementation to the decision-making organs. The decision-making organs conduct supervision and inspections of the implementation of decisions.

The implementation of major administrative decisions made in accordance with law must not be casually modified, suspended, or stopped, without going through the legally prescribed procedures.

Article 35: [Feedback on Issues in the Implementation of Decisions] Where the units implementing a decision discover issues existing in the decision, where major changes occur in objective conditions, or where force majeur occurs in implementation, and so forth, having a serious impact on the realization of the decision's objectives, it shall be promptly reported to the decision-making organs.

The decision-making organs or units enforcing the decision shall follow provisions to disclose circumstances related to the enforcement of major administrative decisions. Where citizens, legal persons, and other organizations find that there are issues in major administrative decision-making or its implementation, they may submit comments and opinions to the decision-making organs or unit enforcing the decisions, via letter, telephone, email, or other means.

Article 36:[Post-decision-making Assessment] Where the implementation of major administrative decisions clearly fails to attain its anticipated benefit, or where citizens, legal persons, and other organizations submit a larger number of comments on implementation of decisions, the decision-making organs may organize a post-decision-making assessment, and designate the unit to undertake the specific assessment work.

The unit undertaking the specific assessment work shall fully hear the public's comments, especially those of stakeholders; and have people's congress delegates, political consultative conference members, people's organizations, basic level organizations, and social organizations participate in the assessment, and may entrust social organizations or professional bodies, and so forth, to carry out third-party assessment.

The experts, professional bodies,social organizations, and so forth, that took part in the primary debate and assessment work before the decision was made usually must not participate in the post-decision-making assessment.

The post-decision assessment conclusions shall be a major basis for adjustment of the major administrative decisions.

Article 37: [Procedures for adjustment of decisions] Where decision-making organs will make major adjustments to major decisions such as major public construction projects in that administrative area, they shall newly perform the relevant procedures. Where the situation is urgent, the chief executive may decide to suspend the implementation of the decision.

 

Chapter IX: Legal Responsibility

 

Article 38: [The legal responsibility of decision-making organs] Where decision-making organs violate these regulations, the administrative organ at the level above is to order corrections.

Where decision-making organs violate these regulations by creating serious errors in decision-making, or going a long time without making a decision where one should be made, causing major harms or a heinous impact, the chief administrator, other leaders bearing responsibility and directly responsible personnel, are to be given sanctions in accordance with law.

Article 39:[The legal responsibility of units undertaking decision-making and other relevant units] Where units undertaking decision-making, or units undertaking work related to decision-making, violate these regulations, corrections are ordered by the decision-making organs and the leaders bearing responsibility and directly responsible personnel, are to be given sanctions in accordance with law.

Article 40:[Legal responsibility of decision-making enforcement units] Where units enforcing decision-making refuse to enforce, shirk enforcement, or delay enforcement of major administrative decision-making, stray from the decision-making plan, or have other conduct violating these regulations,making it so that the decision is not fully, promptly, or correctly implemented; corrections are ordered by the decision-making organs and the leaders bearing responsibility and directly responsible personnel, are to be given sanctions in accordance with law.

Article 41:[Criminal Responsibility] Where the personnel provided for in articles 38-40 of these Regulations derelict their duties, abuse their authority, or twist the law for personal gain,and a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

Article 42:[Legal responsibility of relevant entities participating in decision-making] Where experts, professional bodies, social organizations, and so forth, that are participating in the decision-making process, violate professional ethics and the provisions of these Regulations, a notice is to be circulated; where serious consequences a created, legal responsibility is to be borne in accordance with law.

 

Chapter X: Supplementary Provisions

 

Article 43:[Formulating Supporting Systems] People's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and directly governed municipalities and departments of the State Council may formulate specific provisions on the basis of these Regulations.

Article 44:[Effective Date] These Regulations are be implemented from --/--/----.

 

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