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Open Government Information

China joined the roughly 70 countries with access to information regimes in adopting its Open Government Information Regulations, which came into effect May 1, 2008 (see the 2008 global map of countries with freedom of information laws, regulations and pending bills by David Banisar.) Preceded by some 25 years of incremental and uneven progress toward greater government transparency, China’s OGI Regulations nonetheless mark a sharp break with a long tradition -- and a still strong culture -- of government secrecy.

As part of The China Law Center’s ongoing research and cooperative work in the area of administrative law and regulatory reform, this site is designed to share information both about the development of open government information (OGI) in China and international practice and experience that may be of relevance to China’s quest to promote transparency in government and more law-based administration.

Chinese Law and Policy on Open Government Information

  Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information, April 5, 2007, effective May 1, 2008 (Chinese) (English)

  Press Conference with State Council Office of Legislative Affairs Vice Minister Zhang Qiong about the Regulations on Open Government Information, April 24, 2007 (Chinese)
Notice of the General Office of the State Council On Preparing Well for Implementing the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Open Government Information, August 4, 2007 (Chinese) (English)
Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Various Issues of Implementing the Open Government Information Regulations of the People’s Republic of China, April 29, 2008 (Chinese) (English)

Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Improving the Work of Disclosing Government Information Upon Request, January 12, 2010 (Chinese) (English)

Notice of the General Office Secretariat Bureau of the State Council on Issuing the Open Government Information Catalog System Implementing Guide (Interim), January 15, 2009 (Chinese

Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Further Improving Secrecy Examination in Open Government Information Work, November 20, 2010 (Chinese) (English)

Opinions of the General Office of the State Council on Further Strengthening Open Government Information Responding to Social Concerns in order to Raise Government Credibility, October 1, 2013 (Chinese)

Notice of the General Office of the State Council Issuing the 2014 Open Government Information Work Priorities, March 17, 2014 (Chinese

Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Strengthening and Standardizing Reporting Work for Statistics on the Open Government Information Situation, June 23, 2014 (Chinese)

Notice of the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission on Fees Collected for Providing Open Government Information and Other Relevant Issues, June 11, 2008 (Chinese) (English)

Notice of the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance on the Standards for Fees Collected
by AdministrativeOrgans for Providing Open Government Information upon Request and Other Relevant Issues, July 16, 2008 (Chinese) (English)

Opinions of the General Offices of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council of the People’s Republic of China on Further Promoting Open Government Affairs, March 24, 2005 (Chinese) (English)

Local Legislation on Open Government Infomation

Hangzhou Municipal Provisions on Open Government Information (Chinese) (English

Measures of Hunan Province to Implement the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on Open Government Information (Chinese) (English)

Shanghai Municipal Provisions on Open Government Information (Chinese) (English)

Articles on Chinese OGI

Jamie P. Horsley, "China Deepens Its Disclosure Regime," on Freedominfo.org, posted April 4, 2014 at here.

Zhao Zhenqun, New Progress of Open Government Information in China (2012-2014), China Law 2014/3 (Chinese) (English)

Center for Public Participation Studies and Supports, An Investigative Report on Judicial Review of Open Government Information Cases in China (October 2013) (Chinese) (English)

Wenjing Liu, “Approaching Democracy Through Transparency: A Comparative Law Study On Chinese Open Government Information,”  Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. (Vol. 26(4), 2011, at 983), at here. (PDF)  

Wenjing Liu, “Government Information Sharing:  Principles, Practice, and Problems — An International Perspective,”  Gov’t Info. Quarterly (Vol.28, Issue 3, July 2011, at 363)  at here.

Nolan R. Shaw, “Implementation of China’s 2007 Open Government Information Regulation,” Hastings Bus. L. J. (Vol 7:1, Winter 2011, at 169) at here.

Jamie P. Horsley, Guanyu zhengfu xinxi mianyu gongkai dianxing tiaokuan de sikao [Some Thoughts on Typical Exemptions for Government Information Disclosure], in Zhengzhi yu falv [Politics and Law], Issue 3, 2009, at 37. (Chinese) (English)

Jin, Xuemei, “Providing government information and services in the Chinese public library,” submitted on May 28, 2009 to the World Library And Information Congress: 75th Ifla General Conference And Council, available at here. (PDF)

Center for Public Participation Studies and Supports, “Summary of the 2009 Annual Report on China’s Administrative Transparency,” (English) (Chinese)

Thomas Hart, ed., "EU-China Information Society Project: Access to Government Information in Europe and China: What Lessons to be Learned?” (November 2007), (English PDF) (Chinese PDF)

Jamie P. Horsley, “Toward a More Open China,” in FLORINI, ANN, ed., THE RIGHT TO KNOW: TRANSPARENCY FOR AN OPEN WORLD (Columbia University Press, 2007) (PDF)

Jamie P. Horsley, "China Adopts First Nationwide Open Government Information Regulations," on Freedominfo.org, posted May 9, 2007. (PDF)

Jamie P. Horsley, "Update on China's Open Government Information Regulations: Surprising Public Demand Yielding Some Positive Results ," on Freedominfo.org, posted April 23, 2010 at here, (PDF

Paul Hubbard, “China’s Regulations on Open Government Information: Challenges of Nationwide Policy Implementation,” Open Government: a journal on Freedom of Information (Volume 4, Issue 1, April 11, 2008) (PDF)

Mo Yuchuan and Lin Hongchao, “Research Report on Preparations to Implement the Open Government Information Regulations: Investigating in Particular the Experience of Jiangsu, Fujian, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces,” Faxue (Issue 6 2008) (Chinese PDF of Submitted Article)

Suzanne J. Piotrowski, Yahong Zhang, Weiwei Lin and Wenxuan Yu, “Key Issues for Implementation of Chinese Open Government Information Regulations,” Public Administration Review (December 2009), available online at here.

Rick Snell and Weibing Xiao, “Freedom of Information Returns to China,” Public Administration Today (Jan-March 2007),  (PDF)

Materials on Access to Information in the United States and Around the World

Article 19, Model Freedom of Information Law (July 2001), (PDF)

Article 19, “The Public’s Right to Know: Principles on Freedom of Information Legislation,” (June 1999) (PDF)

Atlanta Declaration and Plan of Action for the Advancement of the Right to Access to Information (February 2008), (PDF English) (PDF Chinese)

David Banisar, Freedom of Information Around the World 2006: A Global Survey of Access to Government Information Laws, (PDF)

Toby Mendel, “Freedom of Information: A Comparative Legal Survey” (2nd Edition 2008) in Chinese, translated by Professor Gong Wenxiang of Peking University, at here (Chinese), and English at here (English)

Mitchell W. Pearlman, “Freedom of Information,” 2007 (English) (Chinese)

Thomas M. Susman, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: E-Government and the People’s Right to Know,” Reprinted in Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. LXVIII, No. 2; November 1, 2001 (English) and Jiaoliu Magazine at 53 (2002) (Chinese)

United Nations Development Programme, “Right to Information: Practical Guidance Note” (July 2004), (PDF)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, June 25, 1998 (referred to as the “Aarhus Convention”),  (English) and Chinese translation (official UN Chinese translation)

United States Department of Justice Office of Information and Privacy, “OIP Gives FOIA Implementation Advice to Other Nations,” FOIA Post, (2002) (English) (Chinese)

United States White House, President Barack Obama Memorandum on Freedom of Information, January 21, 2009 (English) (Chinese)

United States White House, President Barack Obama Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, January 21, 2009 (English) (Chinese)

United States White House, President Barack Obama Memorandum on Regulatory Compliance, January 18, 2011 (English) (Chinese)

Department of Justice, Attorney General Holder Memorandum on The Freedom of Information Act, March 19, 2009 (English) (Chinese)

Relevant Websites

Access Info Europe, http://www.access-info.org/

Carter Center, Access to Information Project, http://www.cartercenter.org/peace/americas/information.html

Carter Center, China Transparency.org, http://www.chinatransparency.org/

Carter Center, Open Government Information in China Homepage, http://www.chinaelections.net/ati.asp (in English)

Center for Public Participation Studies and Supports, Professor Wang Xixin, Peking University Law School, http://www.cppss.cn/ (in Chinese)

EU-China Information Society Project, http://www.eu-china-infso.org/

FOI in China, http://chinesefoi.org/ - set up by Clement Yongxi Chen

FOIAnet, http://www.foiadvocates.net/

Freedominfo.org, http://www.freedominfo.org/

Privacy International, http://www.privacyinternational.org/index.shtml, Freedom of Information Homepage

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the China Environmental Culture Promotion Association (CECPA), http://www.greenlaw.org.cn/, (Chinese) and http://www.greenlaw.org.cn/enblog (English)

Research on FOI and E-Government in China, http://foichina.blogspot.com/ -- a FOIA blog focusing on China set up by Ben Wei in Shanghai