Open Government Information Regulations of the P.R.C. (2019)

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Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: These Regulations are formulated so as to ensure that citizens, legal persons, and other organizations obtain government information in accordance with law, to increase the level of transparency in government work, to a rule of law government, to give full play to the role of government information in serving the public's production and livelihood and their economic and social activities.

Article 2:Government information as used in these Regulations, refers to information produced or acquired by the administrative organs in the course of their performance of administrative management functions, which has been recorded or saved in some form.

Article 3: All levels of people's government shall improve the organizational leadership of open government information efforts.

The General Office of the State Council is the competent department for open government information efforts for the entire nation, and is responsible for promoting, guiding, coordinating and supervising the entire nation's open government information efforts.

The general offices of local people's governments at the county level or above are the competent department for open government information work in that administrative region, responsible for promoting, guiding, coordinating, and supervising that administrative region's open government information efforts.

The general offices (rooms) of the departments implementing vertical leadership are in charge of open government information work for the corresponding system.

Article 4: All levels of people's government, as well as departments of people's governments at the county level or above, shall establish and complete systems for open government information efforts in that administrative organ, and designate bodies (hereinafter "open government information work bodies") responsible for routine open government information work.

The specific functions of open government information work bodies are:

(1) To handle that administrative organ's open government information matters;

(2) Preserving and updating the government information disclosed by that administrative organ;

(3) Organizing the drafting of that administrative organ's open government information handbook, catalog of open government information, and annual report on open government information efforts;

(4) Organizing implementation of reviews of government information to be disclosed;

(5) Other functions related to open government information that that administrative organ provides.

Article 5: Disclosure of government information by administrative organs shall adhere to disclosure being the norm and non-disclosure the exception, and observe the principles of justice, fairness, legality, and convenience for the people.

Article 6: Administrative organs shall promptly and accurately disclose government information.

Where administrative organs discover false or incomplete information that impacts, or might impact, social stability or disrupt the order of social and economic management, they shall publish accurate information to clarify it.

Article 7: All levels of people's government shall actively promote open government information efforts and gradually increase the scope of open government information.

Article 8: All levels of people's government shall strengthen regulation, standardization, and information management of government information resources; strengthen the establishment of internet open government information platforms; advance the integration of open government information platforms and government affairs service platforms, and raise the level of online handling of open government information.

Article 9: Citizens, legal persons, and other organizations have the right conduct oversight of administrative organs' open government information work, and to submit criticisms and suggestions.

Chapter II: The Entities and Scope of Disclosure

Article 10: Responsibility for the disclosure of government information produced by administrative organs is with the administrative organ that produced that government information. Responsibility for the disclosure of government information obtained from citizens, legal persons, and other organizations is with the administrative organ storing that government information; responsibility for the disclosure of government information obtained from other administrative organs is with the administrative organ that produced or first obtained that government information. Where laws and regulations have separate provisions on the scope of authority for open government information, follow those provisions.

Where remote or internal bodies established by administrative organs perform administrative management functions to the public in their own name in accordance with laws and regulations, the remote or internal bodies may be responsible for performing open government information work related to the administrative management functions they perform.

Where two or more administrative organs jointly produce government information, the administrative organ which took the lead in production is responsible for disclosure.

Article 11: Administrative organs shall establish and complete open government information coordination mechanisms. Where administrative organs' disclosure of government information involves other organs, they shall consult and confirm with the relevant organs to ensure that the information disclosed by the administrative organs is correct and uniform.

Where administrative organs' disclosure of government information requires approvals in accordance with relevant laws, administrative regulations, and relevant State provisions, it is to be disclosed upon approval.

Article 12: Open government information handbooks and open government information catalogs drafted and published by administrative organs shall be promptly updated.

The open government information handbooks are to include the types, arrangement systems, and methods for obtaining government information, and the open government information work bodies' name, address, work hours, contact number, fax number, internet contact methods, and other relevant content.

Open government information catalogs are to include the index, titles, content summaries, and production dates and other such information on government information.

Article 13: Except as provided in articles 14, 15, and 16 of this Regulation, government information shall be disclosed.

Administrative organs' disclosure of government information employs methods of proactive disclosure and disclosure upon request.

Article 14: Government information that is lawfully designated as state secrets, government information that laws and regulations prohibit disclosure of, as well as government information that might endanger national security, public safety, economic security, or social stability after release, is not to be disclosed.

Article 15: Administrative organs must not disclose government information involving commercial secrets or personal privacy, for which disclosure would cause harm to the lawful rights and interests of third parties. However, it is to be disclosed where the third parties consent or or where the administrative organ finds that nondisclosure will create a major impact on the public interest.

Article 16: Information on matters internal to administrative organs, including personnel management, logistics management, internal work processes, and information in other such areas, may be not disclosed.

Deliberation records, process drafts, consultation letters, requests for instruction, and other such process type information, as well as administrative law enforcement case files, may be not disclosed. Where laws, regulations, and or rules provide that the information above shall be disclosed, follow those provisions.

Article 17: Administrative organs shall establish and complete mechanisms for review of open government information, clarifying the procedures and responsibility for review.

Administrative organs disclosing government information shall conduct a review of the government information to be disclosed in accordance with the "People's Republic of China State Secrets Law", as well other laws, regulations, and relevant State provisions,

Where administrative organs cannot determine whether government information may be disclosed, they shall follow laws, regulations, and relevant State provisions to report to the relevant competent department, or the administrative department for secrecy management, for a confirmation.

Article 18: Administrative organs shall establish and complete dyamically adjusting government information management mechanisms, carrying out periodic assessment and review of information from that administrative organ which was not disclosed, and government information which may be disclosed due to changing circumstances shall be disclosed.

Chapter III Proactive Disclosure

Article 19: Administrative organs shall proactively disclose government information related to adjustments of the public's interests, that require broad public understanding, or require public participation in decision making.

Article 20: Administrative organs shall proactively disclose the following government information from that administrative organ in accordance with article 19 of this Regulation:

(1) Administrative regulations, rules, and normative documents;

(2) Organ functions, organizational setup, office addresses, contact methods, and names responsible parties;

(3) Citizen economic and social development plans, special plans, regional plans, and relevant policies;

(4) Citizen economic and social development statistical information;

(5) The basis, requirements, procedures, and results, of handling administrative permits and other management and service items aimed at the public;

(6) The basis, requirements, and procedures for carrying out administrative punishments or administrative compulsory measures, as well as administrative punishment decisions that the administrative organs believe have a definite social impact;

(7) Financial budget and accounting information;

(8) Administrative fee collection programs, as well as their legal basis and standards;

(9) Catalogs of the government’s centralized purchasing projects, their standards and their implementation;

(10) Information on the approval and implementation of major construction projects;

(11) The policies and measures for poverty alleviation, education, medical care, social security, employment promotion, and other areas, as well as their implementation status;

(12) Emergency response plans, early warning information, and responses to public emergencies;

(13) Oversight and inspection situations for environmental protection, public health, production safety, food and drug safety, and product quality;

(14) Information on civil service recruitment, such as the positions, numbers, and testing qualifications, as well as the outcome of recruitment;

(15) Other government information that laws, regulations, rules, and relevant state provisions hold shall be proactively disclosed.

Article 21: In addition to the government information provided for in article 20, city districted-city and county level people's governments, and their departments, shall also, based on specific local conditions, proactively disclose government information in areas such as municipal government construction, public services, public interest affairs, land expropriation, housing expropriation, the administration of public security, and social assistance; village (township) people's governments shall also, based on specific local conditions, proactively disclose government information in areas such as the implementation of policies on villages and rural affairs, the construction and operation of farm irrigation projects, transfer of rural land contract operation rights, review of homestead land usage, land expropriation, housing expropriation, raising money and labor, and so forth.

Article 22: Administrative organs shall determine the specific content of government information to be proactively disclosed in accordance with articles 20 and 21 of this Regulation, and continuously increase the content for proactive disclosure in accordance with the arrangements of the administrative organ at the level above.

Article 23: Administrative organs shall establish and complete mechanisms for the publication of government information, disclosing proactively disclosed government information through channels such as government bulletins, government websites or other internet government affairs media, press conferences, as well as through newspapers and periodicals, radio, and television.

Article 24: All levels of people's government shall strengthen reliance on government portal websites to disclose government information, using the unified open government information platform for consolidated release of government information for proactive disclosure. Open government information platforms shall have search, reading, and download functions.

Article 25: People’s governments at all levels shall set venues for reading government information in state archives, public libraries, and government service sites, and equip them with appropriate facilities and equipment to facilitate citizens, legal persons, and other organizations in obtaining government information.

As necessary, administrative organs may set up venues and facilities such as public reading rooms, materials request point, information bulletin boards, and electronic information screens to disclose government information.

Administrative organs shall promptly provide the state archives and public libraries with proactively disclosed government information.

Article 26: Government information within the scope of proactive disclosure shall be promptly disclosed within 20 business days from the date on which the information was produced or changed. Where laws or regulations have different provisions on the time period for disclosing government information, follow those provisions.

Chapter IV: Disclosure by Application

Article 27: In addition to the government information proactively disclosed by administrative organs; citizens, legal persons, or other organizations may apply to obtain relevant government information to local people's governments at all levels, or the departments of people's governments at the county level or above that perform administrative management functions in their own name (including remote and internal bodies provided for in paragraph 2 of article 10 of this regulation).

Article 28: Administrative organs provided for in article 27 of this Regulation shall establish and improve channels for applying for disclosure of government information, and facilitate applicants' lawfully obtaining government information.

Article 29: Where citizens, legal persons, or other organizations apply to obtain government information, they shall be submitted to the open government information work bodies administrative organs in written forms including letters and electronic documents; where there is truly difficulty in using a written form, the applicant may make an oral submission, and the open government information work body accepting that application is to complete an application for open government information on their behalf.

Applications for open government information shall include the following content:

(1) The applicant's name [person or entity],proof of identification, and contact method;

(2) The applied for government information's name, document number, or other characteristic descriptions conducive to the administrative organs inquiry.

(3) Format requirements for applications to disclose government information, including the means and channels through which the information is to be received.

Article 30: Where the government information content applied for is unclear, administrative organs shall give guidance and explanations, and inform the applicant once within 7 days of receiving the application to supplement it, explaining the matters that need to be supplemented and a reasonable time for supplementing. The response period for response is calculated from the date on which administrative organs receive supplemented applications。 Where the applicant exceeds the period for corrections without legitimate reason, it is viewed as forfeiting the application, and the administrative organs are no longer to handle the that open government information request.

Article 31: The time of administrative organs' receipt of an open government information application is determined in accordance with the provisions listed below:

(1) Where the applicant submits the open government information application in person, the date of receipt is the date of submission;

(2) Where the applicant submits the open government information application by mail, the date of receipt is the date on which the administrative organ signs for receipt; where open government information applications are sent by ordinary letter or other forms of mail that do need require signatures for receipt, the open government information work bodies shall confirm with the applicant on the date it receives the application, and the date of confirmation is the date of receipt;

(3) Where the applicant submits an open government information application through the internet or open government information work body's fax, the date of receipt is the date confirmed by both sides;

Article 32: Where disclosure of open government information by application will harm the lawful rights and interests of third parties, administrative organs shall solicit the opinions of the third parties in writing. Third parties shall submit comments within 15 working days of receiving the written solicitation of opinions. Where third parties do not submit comments in the time provided, the administrative organs are to decide whether to disclose in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation. Where third parties do not consent to disclosure and have a reasonable reason, the administrative organs are not to disclose. Where administrative organs find that non-disclosure might have a major impact on public interests, the may decide to disclose, and inform third parties in writing of the content and grounds for the decision to disclose the government information.

Article 33: Where administrative organs receiving open government information applications are able to respond at the scene, they should reply at the scene.

Where administrative organs are not able to reply at the scene, they shall reply within 20 business days from receiving a request; where an extension of the time limit for replying is needed, they shall obtain the consent of the responsible person for the open government information work body and inform the applicant, the extension of the time limit must not exceed 20 business days at the longest.

The time needed for administrative organs to seek the opinions of third parties and other organs is not be counted against the time limit provided in the preceding paragraph.

Article 34: Where applications for disclosure are for government information jointly created by two or more administrative organs, the administrative organ that led the creation may solicit the opinions of relevant administrative organs after it receives the open government information application; and the organs whose opinions are being solicited are to submit comments within 15 working days of receiving the written solicitation of opinions, where comments are not submitted within the time provided, it is viewed as consent to disclosure.

Article 35: Where the number or frequency of applicants' applications to disclose government information clearly exceed reasonable limits, administrative organs may request that the applicants explain the reasons. Where administrative organs find that the reasons for the applications are not reasonable, they are to inform the applicant that they will not handle them; where administrative organs find that the reasons for the applications are reasonable, but that they are unable to respond to the applicants within the time provided in article 33 of this Regulation, they may determine a reasonably extended period for responding and inform the applicants.

Article 36: Administrative organs shall reply to applications for open government information respectively in accordance with the following circumstances:

(1) Where the requested government information has already been proactively disclosed, inform the applicant of the methods or channels for obtaining that government information;

(2) Where the requested government information may be disclosed, provide the applicant with that government information, or inform the applicant of the means, channels, and times for obtaining that government information;

(3) Where administrative organs decide not to disclose on the basis of this Regulation, they are to inform the applicants of the reason for not disclosing;

(4) Where upon searching for the information applied for is not found, inform the applicants that the government information does not exist;

(5) Where the administrative organ is not responsible for the disclosure of the information applied for, inform the applicant and explain the reasons; where the administrative organs responsible for disclosing the government information can be determined, inform the applicant of the name and contact methods for that administrative organ.

(6) Where administrative organs have already made a response to the open government information application submitted by applicants, and the applicants are repetitively requesting disclosure of the same government information, inform the applicants that it will not be handled again;

(7) Where the information applied for is information such as registration materials for industry, commerce, or real property, and laws or administrative regulations have special provisions on obtaining the information, inform the applicants to handle it in accordance with the relevant laws and administrative regulations.

Article 37: Where applications for disclosure of information include content that shall not be disclosed or that is not government information, but it can be distinguished, the administrative organ shall provide the applicant with the government information content that can be disclosed, and explain the reasons for the non-disclosed content.

Article 38: The information provided to applicants by administrative organs shall be government information that was already produced or obtained. Except where distinct handling can be done as provided for in article 37 of this Regulation, where it is necessary for administrative organs to process or analyze the government information they have, the administrative organs are not to provide it.

Article 39:Where applicants petition, complain, make reports, and so forth in the form of open government information applications, the administrative organs shall inform the applicants that it will not be handled as an open government information application and may inform them of the proper channels for submission.

Where the content of applications submitted by applicants requests that the administrative organ provide open publications such as government bulletins, newspapers and periodicals, or books, the administrative organ may inform them of the channels for obtaining it.

Article 40:The specific form in which government information is provided by administrative organs making disclosures of government information upon application shall be determined based on the request of the applicant and the actual conditions of the administrative organs' stored government information; where providing government information according to the applicants' requested format might endanger the security of the government information medium or the cost of disclosure would be too high, it may be provided as electronic data or in other appropriate formats, or arrangements may be made for the applicant to access and copy the relevant government information.

Article 41: Where citizens, legal persons, or other organizations have evidence showing that government information related to them that was provided by an administrative organ is not recorded accurately, they may request that the administrative organ correct it. Where administrative organs with the power to correct investigate and find it is true, they shall make corrections and inform the applicants; where it is not with the scope of the administrative organs' functions, the administrative organs may transfer it to the administrative organs with the power to make corrections for handling and inform the applicants, or inform the applicants to submit it to the administrative organs with the power to make corrections.

Article 42: Administrative organs providing government information upon application are not to collect fees. However, where the number or frequency of applicants' applications to disclose government information clearly exceed reasonable limits, administrative organs may collect fees for handling the information.

Specific measures on administrative organs collection of information handling fees are to be drafted by the State Council departments for pricing together with the State Council finance departments, and the departments in charge of open government information for the entire nation.

Article 43:Where citizens applying for the disclosure of government information have trouble reading or have hearing or vision impediments, administrative organs shall provide them with necessary assistance.

Article 44:Where several applicants submit applications for similar government information to the same administrative organ, and that government information may be disclosed, the administrative organ may include that information within the scope of proactive disclosure.

Where applicants feel that government information disclosed by administrative organs upon application is related to adjustments of the public's interests, requires broad public understanding, or requires public participation in decision making, they may suggest that the administrative organ include that information within the scope of proactive disclosure. Where upon review, the administrative organs find that it is within the scope of proactive disclosure, they shall promptly proactive disclose it.

Article 45:Administrative organs shall establish and complete work systems for registering, reviewing, handling, responding to, and filing open government information applications, and strengthen regulation of work.

Chapter V: Supervision and Safeguards

Article 46:All levels of people's government shall establish and complete systems for evaluation, social comment, and pursuit of responsibility in open government information efforts; and periodically conduct evaluations and comment on open government information efforts.

Article 47:The competent departments for open government information work shall strengthen routing guidance and supervisory inspections of open government information work, and where administrative organs have not carried out open government information efforts as required, urge rectification or circulate criticism; where it is necessary to pursue accountability of the responsible leaders and directly responsible personnel, a recommendation on handling is to be submitted to an authorized organ in accordance with law.

Where citizens, legal persons, or other organizations find that administrative organs have not followed requirements to proactively disclose government information or do not lawfully respond to and handle open government information applications, they may submit it to the competent departments for open government information work. Where the competent departments for open government information work investigate and find it is true, they shall urge corrections or circulate criticism.

Article 48:The competent departments for open government information work shall periodically conduct training for the administrative organs' open government information work staff.

Article 49: By January 31 of each year, the departments of people's government at the county level or above shall submit the preceding year's annual open government information work report to the competent department for open government information work of that level, and release it to the public.

By March 31 of each year, the competent departments for open government information work of local people's governments at the county level or above shall publicly release the preceding year's annual open government information work report for that level of government.

Article 50:The annual reports on open government information work shall include the following content:

(1) Circumstances of the administrative organ's proactive disclosure of government information;

(2) Circumstances of the administrative organ's receipt and handling of open government information applications;

(3) Circumstances of being subject to an application for administrative reconsideration or administrative lawsuit due to open government information work;

(4) The main problems that exist in open government information work and circumstances of improving them, and each level of people's governments' annual report on open government information work shall also include work evaluations, public assessment, and circumstances of pursuing responsibility and their outcomes.

(5) Other matters that need to be reported.

The competent department for open government information work across the nation shall release a uniform format for annual work reports and update it when appropriate.

Article 51:Where citizens, legal persons, or other organizations find that administrative organs have violated their lawful rights and interests during open government information work, they may make a complaint or report to the administrative organ at the level above or the competent department for open government information work, and may also lawfully apply for an administrative reconsideration or initiate administrative litigation.

Article 52:Where administrative organs violate the provisions of these Regulations by failing to establish and complete relevant systems and mechanisms for open government information, the administrative organ at the level above is responsible for ordering corrections; where the circumstances are serious, the leaders with responsibility and directly responsible personnel are given sanctions in accordance with law.

Article 53:In any of the following circumstances, where administrative organs violate the provisions of these Regulations, the administrative organ at the level above is to order corrections; and where the circumstances are serious the leaders with responsibility and directly responsible personnel are given sanctions in accordance with law; and where a crime is constituted, criminal responsibility is pursued in accordance with law.

(1) Not performing open government information functions in accordance with law;

(2) Not promptly updating the contents of government information that has been disclosed, the open government information handbook, and the open government information catalog;

(3) Other circumstances violating the provisions of this Regulation.

Chapter VI: Supplementary Provisions

Article 54:These Regulations apply to open government information activities of organizations that are authorized by laws or regulations to have public affairs management functions.

Article 55:Follow the relevant laws, regulations, and provisions of the competent State Council departments or bodies to implement disclosure of information produced or obtained by public enterprise or public institution units in the course of providing social public services in areas closely linked to the people's interests, such as education, water, electricity, gas, heat, environmental protection, and public transport. The competent departments for open government information work for the entire nation are to draft special provisions as required by actual conditions.

Where public enterprises and public institutions provided for in the preceding paragraph failing to disclose information that is produced or obtained in the course of providing public services in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and provisions of the relevant competent departments or bodies under the State Council; citizens, legal persons, or other organizations may make a collateral appeal to the relevant supervisory department or body, and departments or bodies receiving such appeals shall promptly investigate and handle them, and inform the complainant of the outcome of the handling.

Article 56: This Regulation is to take effect on May 15, 2019.

 

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