Your current location:Home >> Government >> Government Bulletin >> 2008 >> 10th
Decree of Shanghai Municipal People's Government

No.2

The“Provisions of Shanghai Municipality on Open Government Information”were adopted at the 5th Session of the Standing Committee of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government on April 7, 2008, and are hereby promulgated. They shall be effective as of May 1, 2008.

Mayor Han Zheng

April 28, 2008

Provisions of Shanghai Municipality on Open Government Information

(Promulgated by Decree No.2 of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government on April 28, 2008)

Chapter I General Provisions

Article 1 (Basis)

These Provisions are formulated in accordance with the“Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information”(hereinafter referred to as the“Regulations on Open Government Information”) and other relevant laws and regulations and in line with the actuality of this Municipality.

Article 2 (Definition)

The“government information”, mentioned in these Provisions refers to the information that is made or acquired by administrative organs in the process of performing their duties, and is recorded and stored in given forms.

Article 3 (Principles)

Administrative organs shall open to the public all government information except those that are exempt from being opened to the public in accordance with law.

The principle of disclosing government information by administrative organs shall observe the principles of being just, fair, convenient for people and timely in opening government information to the public.

Article 4 (Organizing and Promoting Systems)

The people’s governments at all levels of this Municipality shall enhance the organization of and leadership over the open government information work.

The General Office of the Municipal People’s Government is the competent department of open government information and shall be responsible for promoting, guiding, coordinating and supervising the open government information work in this Municipality. The Municipal Information Commission, the Municipal Supervisory Committee, the Legislative Affairs Office and the Information Office of the Municipal People’s Government, the Municipal State Secrets Bureau and other relevant administrative organs shall take charge of the specific implementation of promotional work related to open government information under the unified coordination of the General Office of the Municipal People’s Government.

The general offices of the district/county people’s governments shall, jointly with relevant departments, promote, guide, coordinate and supervise the open government information work within their respective jurisdictions.

Article 5 (Agencies)

An administrative organs shall establish and perfect the system of open government information work for this organ, and designate an agency (hereafter referred to as the“agency of open government information”) to take charge of the day-to-day work of open government information in this organ.

The main duties of the agency of open government information are:

1. Undertaking the specific matters related to the opening of the government information of this organ on its own initiative, and maintaining and updating the government information opened by this organ on its own initiative;

2. Accepting and handling the applications for open government information that are submitted to this organ;

3. Conducting the examination of secrecy for the government information to be opened;

4. Organizing the drawing up of the open government information guide, the open government information catalogue and the annual report on open government information work in this organ; and

5. Performing other duties related to open government information as prescribed by this organ.

The administrative organ shall make the name, office address, office hours, contact telephone number, fax number, e-mail address of its agency of open government information work known to the public for the convenience of citizens, legal persons and other organizations in making inquiries about matters related to open government information.

Article 6 (Protection of Public Interests)

The opening of government information by administrative organs may not endanger state security, public security, economic security and social stability.

Where the administrative organ decides to exempt the government information from being opened according to the provision of the preceding paragraph, it shall submit a written report to the competent department of open government information of the municipal or district/ county people’s government.

Article 7 (Examination Mechanism of Secrecy)

Administrative organs shall establish and perfect the examination mechanism of secrecy for the government information to be released.

Prior to opening government information, the administrative organs shall examine secrecy for the government information according to law; if the information is ascertained to be exempt from being opened, specific reasons shall be given while a document is being drafted. The administrative organ shall examine the document and make clear whether it belongs to the category of being opened on initiative, or upon application, or being exempt from being opened.

With respect to the examination of secrecy for government information, the relevant business agency of the administrative organ shall express opinions and report the matter to the person in charge of the administrative organ for decision after the verification thereof by the agency of open government information jointly with the agency of secrecy work and the agency of legislative affairs.

Article 8 (Coordinating Mechanism for Release)

Administrative organs shall establish and perfect the mechanism for releasing the government information.

In any of the following circumstances, an administrative organ shall have communication and confirmation thereon with other relevant administrative organs to ensure the government information released by administrative organs is accurate and consistent:

1. Prior to releasing government information, the administrative organ knows that such government information involves other administrative organs; or

2. The government information involves two or more than two other administrative organs, but is inconsistent in contents with the government information that has been released by relevant administrative organs.

Where relevant administrative organs hold different views about the contents of the government information to be released, but the contents of the government information can be differentiated by the duties and powers of administrative organs, the matter shall be handled according to the opinions of the organ with authority.

If the government information to be released by an administrative organ needs to be approved in accordance with relevant provisions of the sate or the Municipal People’s Government, it may not be released without being approved.

Article 9 (Verifying and Checking the Contents to Be Opened)

Prior to being opened, the government information that is made according to the administrative organs’powers shall be verified by the administrative organs to ensure the contents of the government information opened are accurate.

Prior to being opened, the government information acquired from citizens, legal persons or other organizations according to the administrative organs’powers shall be verified by the administrative organs to ensure the contents of the government information to be opened are consistent with those of the government information acquired.

Article 10 (Handling Uncertain, False and Incomplete Information)

Except that an administrative organ solicits opinions from the public about draft documents, the government information in the process of being investigated, discussed and handled that may, after being opened, endanger state security, public security, economic security or social stability owing to its uncertain contents, shall not be opened.

When administrative organs discover false or incomplete information that affects or may affect social stability or disturbs the order of social management, they shall, within the scope of their duties and powers, release accurate government information to clarify the situation after reporting to the people’s government at the same level or the administrative organ at next higher level for approval.

Chapter II Scope of Opening

Article 11 (Opening on Initiative)

Administrative organs shall open on their own initiative the government information that satisfies one of the following basic requirements:

1. Involving the immediate interests of citizens, legal persons or other organizations;

2. Needing social extensive understanding or participation;

3. Reflecting the situations of organizational setup, functions and working procedures of this administrative organ; or

4. Other information that shall be opened on initiative according to laws, rules, regulations and relevant state provisions.

Administrative organs shall determine the key points of the government information to be opened on their own initiative in accordance with the provisions of Articles 10, 11 and 12 of the Regulations on Open Government Information.

Article 12 (Exemption from Being Opened)

The following government information shall be exempt being opened:

1. State secrets;

2. Commercial secrets; or

3. Personal privacy.

The government information listed under Items 2 and 3 in the preceding clause may be opened by an administrative organ after obtaining the consent of the obligee, or in case the administrative organ believes that non-opening may cause a major impact on the public interests. The obligee’s failure to reply to the administrative organ about the inquiry on whether he/she consents to the opening of the information shall be regarded as his/her refusal to give consent thereto.

Article 13 (Opening upon Application)

Citizens, legal persons or other organizations have the right to apply for acquiring the relevant government information from administrative organs in accordance with the“Regulations on Open Government Information”and these Provisions.

Article 14 (Duties, Powers and Scope Related to Opening)

In respect of the government information made by and administrative organ, the administrative organ that makes such government information shall be responsible for opening it.

In respect of the government information acquired by an administrative organ from citizens, legal persons or other organizations according to its duties and powers, the administrative organ that acquires such government information shall be responsible for opening it.

If an administrative organ that has the obligation to open the government information is abolished or altered, the administrative organ that carries on the former’s functions and powers shall be responsible for opening the government information of the original organ.

If laws, rules and regulations provide otherwise on the duties, powers and scope related to the opening of government information, such provisions shall prevail.

Article 15 (Open Government Information Guides and Catalogues)

Administrative organs shall, according to the provisions of Article 19 of the“Regulations on Open Government Information”, draw up and publish their own open government information guides, catalogues of opening on initiative and catalogues of opening upon application.

The open government information guides and catalogues shall be updated in a timely manner.

Chapter III Channels for Opening on Initiative

Article 16 (Government Websites)

In respect of the government information that falls within the scope of being opened on initiative, the administrative organ shall open such government information on its own Website; if this organ has not established its own government Website yet, it shall open the information via the government Websites of the people’s government at the same or next higher level.

Article 17 (State Archives and Public Libraries)

The municipal and district/county people’s governments shall set up reading places for government information in the municipal or district/county State Archives and public libraries and allocate appropriate facilities and equipment to make it convenient for citizens, legal persons and other organizations to acquire government information.

Administrative organs shall deliver their own open government information guides and catalogues as well as the government information that falls within the scope of being opened on initiative to the municipal or district/county Sate Archives and public libraries within 20 working days from the day the information is drawn up, formed, updated or altered.

Article 18 (Government Bulletins)

The municipal and district/county people’s governments shall establish and perfect the system of government bulletins.

The regulations and normative documents formulated by the Municipal People’s Government shall be published in full text in the bulletins of the Municipal People’s Government within 20 working days from the date of their promulgation.

Bulletins of the Municipal People’s Government shall be distributed to the general public free of charge via the designated newspaper stands, bookshops and post offices, and be made readily available at the municipal and district/county State Archives and public libraries for the free access of the public.

Article 19 (The Press Release and Press Spokespersons)

The municipal and district/county people’s governments shall establish and perfect the system of press release and designate the press spokespersons.

Major public events, public early warning messages and other government information that should be known by the general public in time shall be made known to the public through news briefing.

Article 20 (Other Channels for Opening)

Administrative organs with necessary conditions shall establish places and facilities such as public consultation rooms, materials request points, information bulletin boards and electronic information display screens to make it convenient for the general public to retrieve, inquire and duplicate relevant government information.

Chapter IV Procedures for Opening upon Application

Article 21 (Application)

Citizens, legal persons or other organizations that apply to administrative organs for open government information in accordance with Article 13 of the“Regulations on Open Government Information”shall submit applications including the following contents:

1. The name or designation and the mode of contact of the applicant;

2. The definite contents of the government information including the name and reference number of the document and other descriptions of characteristics by which the given government information can be identified; and

3. The mode and the carrier form of acquiring the government information.

Where citizens, legal persons or other organizations apply to an administrative organ for open government information, the administrative organ may inquire the applicant about the purpose of acquiring the government information.

Article 22 (Assistance and Convenience)

If an applicant truly has difficulty in writing an application for open government information, the applicant may file an application orally and the working personnel of the administrative organ that accepts the application shall fill out for the applicant the application, which shall be signed or sealed by the applicant by way of confirmation.

If an applicant truly has difficulty in describing the document name and reference number or other definite characteristics of the needed government information and makes an inquiry from an administrative organ, the administrative organ shall provide necessary assistance.

If the government information is to be opened by the district/county people’s government and its departments, the town/township people’s government or the sub-district office, the district/county people’s government may set up a window for centralized acceptance of applications within their respective administrative areas for the convenience of citizens, legal persons or other organizations in applying for open government information.

Article 23 (Reply)

With respect to the application filed by citizens, legal persons or other organizations for open government information, the administrative organ shall give separate replies according to the following provisions:

1. In case the government information falls within the scope of being opened, the applicant shall be informed of the mode and the channel whereby the said government information may be acquired;

2. In case the government information falls within the scope of exemption from being opened, the applicant shall be so informed and given an explanation of reasons;

3. In case the contents applied for do not fall within the scope of the government information provided by these Provisions, the applicant shall be so informed and given an explanation of reasons;

4. In case the open government information applied for is within the scope of this organ’s duties and powers but has not been made or acquired by this organ, the applicant shall be informed that such government information does not exist;

5. In case the open government information applied for does not fall within the scope of this organ’s duties and powers, the applicant shall be informed that it shall not be opened by this organ; if the organ to open such government information can be ascertained, the applicant shall be informed of the name of the opening organ and the mode of contact.

6. In case the open government information applied for contains some contents that shall not be opened but may be handled through differentiation, the applicant shall be informed of the part of the information that may be opened, together with the mode and channel for acquiring it. For the part that is exempt from being opened, the reason therefor shall be explained;

7. In case open government information applied for involves commercial secrets or personal privacy but may be opened in accordance with the provisions in Clause 2 of Article 21 of these Provisions, the applicant shall be informed of the mode and channel for acquiring this government information, and the obligee shall be informed in writing of the contents of the government information to be opened and the reasons therefor;

8. In case the contents applied for are not definite or do not conform to the provisions in Clause 1 of Article 21 of these Provisions, the applicant shall be notified to modify or supplement the application within a reasonable period of time. And if the applicant fails do so within the time limit, the application shall be deemed as being waived; and

9. In case the same applicant repeats his/her application to the same administrative organ for the same government information and the administrative organ has already given a reply, the applicant may be informed that the application will not be re-handled.

Article 24 (Modes and Carrier Forms for Acquisition)

Where the administrative organ opens government information upon application, the applicant may choose to acquire the government information by post, courier delivery, fax, or claim in person and may also choose any of the carrier forms of government information such as paper, light disk and magnetic disk.

The administrative organ shall provide the government information according to the mode and carrier form requested by the applicant. Where it is impossible to meet the requirement of the applicant, the administrative organ may provide the information by arranging for the applicant to consult relevant materials, or other suitable modes and carrier forms.

Article 25 (Acquiring and Correcting Information of Oneself)

Citizens, legal persons or other organizations that request an administrative organ to provide them with government information that concerns themselves such as tax payment, social security, medical care and health and registration, they shall present their valid ID certificates or documentary evidence.

Where the government information provided in the preceding paragraph is to be made by the administrative organ, and citizens, legal persons or other organizations have evidence showing that the government information concerning themselves provided by the administrative organ is not recorded accurately, they have the right to request the administrative organ to make corrections thereof. If the administrative organ does not have the authority to make the corrections, the case shall be referred to the administrative organ with such authority for handling, and the applicant shall be so informed.

Article 26 (Time Limit)

An administrative organ shall, upon receipt of the application for open government information, give a reply on the spot if it is able to do so; where it is impossible to provide a reply on the spot, the reply shall be provided within 15 working days from the date of receipt of the application. If the administrative organ needs an extension of the time limit for the reply, the consent of the person in charge of the agency of open government information shall be obtained, and the applicant shall be so informed. The longest extension shall not exceed 15 working days.

An administrative organ that provides the applicant with government information shall do so on the spot after the applicant has completed the relevant procedure. If it is impossible to provide the information on the spot, it shall be provided within 10 working days from the date of completion of the relevant procedure.

Article 27 (Charges)

When providing government information to citizens, legal persons or other organizations upon application, administrative organs may collect charges for the costs and expenses actually incurred in connection with the retrieval, duplicating and mailing, but shall not collect other charges.

The standards of the charges for costs and charges collected by administrative organs as provided in the preceding paragraph shall be executed in accordance with the provisions set by the competent department of price control under the State Council and the finance department of the State Council. All the payments of such charges received shall be turned in to the finance.

Applicants who belong to the object of safeguard of minimum living standard for urban and rural residents or truly have economic difficulties shall be exempted from the payment of such charges.

The administrative organ may not provide government information in the form of paid services through other organizations or individual persons.

Chapter V Supervision and Relief

Article 28 (Annual Reports)

The municipal competent department of open government information shall draw up and publish an annual report on the open government information work in this Municipality by the end of March every year.

All the other administrative organs of this Municipality shall draw up and publish an annual report on the open government information work in their own organs by the end of February every year, and submit it to the municipal or district/county competent department of open government information.

The annual report on open government information work shall include the following contents:

1. Initiatives taken by administrative organs in opening government information;

2. Statistics on applications by citizens, legal persons and other organizations for open government information;

3. Statistics situation on the classification of cases where administrative organs agree to open information to the public, to partially open information to the public and exempt information from being opened to the public;

4. Statistics on the cases of applications for administrative reconsideration and lawsuit in connection with open government information, and the results of their handling;

5. Charges collection and charges exemption in connection with the open government information;

6. Major existing issues concerning open government information and their improvement; and

7. Other important matters that shall be reported.

Article 29 (Check-up)

The district/county people’s government shall conduct the check-up on the open government information work of the government departments at the same level and the governments at next lower level. The specific check-up work shall be organized for implementation by the municipal and district/county competent department of open government information work jointly with the supervisory organ, the informatization department and the personnel department at the same level.

The check-up shall be conducted every year.

The result of check-up shall be taken as one of the performance assessment basis for administrative organs and shall be published.

Article 30 (Social Appraisal)

The municipal and district/county competent department of open government information shall, jointly with the supervisory organ and the informatization department at the same level, organize the social appraisal on the open government information work of all administrative organs.

The result of social appraisal shall be published.

Article 31 (Supervision and Inspection)

The municipal and district/county competent departments of open government information and supervisory organs shall be responsible for conducting at regular intervals the supervision and inspection over the implementation of open government information by administrative organs.

If citizens, legal persons or other organizations believe that an administrative organ has failed to fulfill, in accordance with law, its obligations in respect of open government information, they may report the matter to the administrative organ at a higher level, the supervisory organ or the competent department of open government information. The organ that receives the report shall investigate and handle the matter.

Article 32 (Prosecution of Responsibility)

Any administrative organ that violates the provisions by failing to establish and perfect the secrecy examination mechanism for releasing government information shall be ordered by the supervisory organ or the administrative organ at next higher level to make corrections. If the case is serious, administrative punishment shall be imposed on the principal responsible person(s) of that administrative organ in accordance with law.

An administrative organ in any of the following circumstances shall be ordered by the supervisory organ or the administrative organ at next higher level to make corrections. In serious cases, administrative punishment shall be imposed on the directly responsible person(s) in charge and other directly responsible persons of the administrative organ according to law; if the act constitutes a crime, the wrongdoer shall be prosecuted for criminal liability in accordance with law:

1. Failure to perform the obligations to open government information in accordance with law;

2. Failure to update in a timely manner the contents of open government information, the open government information guide and the catalogue;

3. Failure to deliver the open government information guide and the catalogue and other government information to be opened on initiative to the State Archives and public libraries in accordance with provisions;

4. Collecting charges in violation of provisions;

5. Providing government information in the form of paid service through other organizations or individual persons;

6. Opening government information that shall not be opened; or

7. Concealing and fabricating facts in the work of open government information.

Article 33 (Administrative Reconsideration and Administrative Lawsuit)

If citizens, legal persons or other organizations believe that the specific administrative acts of an administrative organ in its open government information work infringe their legitimate rights and interests, they may, in accordance with law, apply for administrative reconsideration or file an administrative lawsuit.

Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions

Article 34 (Legally Authorized Organizations)

These Provisions apply to the activities related to open government information of the organizations that are authorized by laws and regulations and possess the functions of administrating public affairs.

Article 35 (Transferring Government Information to Archives)

Where the archives that are transferred to the State Archives by administrative organ according to law involve government information, the opening of that government information shall be governed by the provisions of the laws and regulations concerning archives.

Where the archives that are transferred to the State Archives by administrative organs according to law involve government information, the administrative organs shall inform in writing the State Archives that the said government information originally falls within the scope of being opened on initiative, or opened upon application, or being exempt from being opened.

Article 36 (Guarantee of Funds)

Government organs shall bring the funds for the open government information work into their annual budget so as to ensure the normal conduct of the activities related to open government information.

Article 37 (Effective Date)

These Provisions shall become effective as of May 1, 2008, and the“Provisions of Shanghai Municipality on Open Government Information”promulgated by Shanghai Municipal People’s Government on January 20, 2004 shall be repealed at the same time.

Key words: Legal System; Government; Information; Provisions; Order