Country

China

China

Name of law : People’s Republic of China Ordinance on Openness of Government Information
First adopted : 2007

Section Max ScoreScore
Right of Access 6 1
Scope 30 11
Requesting procedures 30 16
Exceptions 30 15
Appeals 30 13
Sanctions 8 1
Promotional measures 16 13
TOTAL 150 70

Introduction:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, China's score with regards to recognition of rights is quite low. Absence of legal protections for whistleblowers or others who disclose, and a lack of meaningful opportunities to appeal are equally unsurprising given the general structure of that nation's system of government. However, China's score on the whole is higher than we would have anticipated, mainly due to a strong promotional aspect and clear rules surrounding procedure.
Right of Access

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1 The legal framework (including jurisprudence) recognises a fundamental right of access to information.Score 0 for no constitutional right to information, 1 point for a limited constitutional right, 2 points for full constitutional recognition of a public right of access to information.2 NO Not mentioned.
2 The legal framework creates a specific presumption in favour of access to all information held by public authorities, subject only to limited exceptions.No=0, Partially=1, Yes=22 NO Not mentioned.
3 3.1 The legal framework contains a specific statement of principles calling for a broad interpretation of the RTI law
3.2 The legal framework emphasises the benefits of the right to information?
3.1(Y/N - max 1 point)
3.2 (Y/N - max 1 point)
2 Partially 1: "This ordinance is instituted in order to ensure that citizens, legal persons and other organizations may obtain government information in accordance with the law, to raise the transparency of government work, promote legal governance, and thoroughly bring into play the service function of government information in the productivity and lives of the masses and in economic and social events." Article 1 talks about the importance of information access in improving the lives of the masses - worth a point.




Scope

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4 Everyone (including non-citizens and legal entities) has the right to file requests for information.Score 0 point if only residents/citizens; 1 point for all natural persons; 1 point for legal persons. 2 Partially 13: "Aside from those types of information belonging to release by initiative of State organs outlines in Articles 9, 10, 11, and 12, citizens, legal persons or other organizations can, according to their particular production, life, research and other needs, make an application for obtaining government information with offices of the State Council, people’s governments at various regional levels and local people’s government offices at the county level and above." Article 13 - applies to citizens and legal persons.
5 The right of access applies to all material held by or on behalf of public authorities which is recorded in any format, regardless of who produced it.Score 1-3 points if limited definition of information information such as not "internal documents" or databases excluded, 4 points for all information with no exceptions.4 Partially 2: "The government information referenced in this ordinance is that which is either created or obtained in the exercise of [official] functions, information that is recorded and preserved in whatever form." Article 2 - applies to all info regardless of form, but only to info that was created or obtained in the process of official functions.
6 Requesters have a right to access both information and records/documents (i.e. a right both to ask for information and to apply for specific documents).Score 1 point for only documents, 1 point for information2 YES 2: "The government information referenced in this ordinance is that which is either created or obtained in the exercise of [official] functions, information that is recorded and preserved in whatever form." Art 2 seems to broaden it's application to all information
7 The right of access applies to the executive branch with no bodies or classes of information excluded.This includes executive (cabinet) and adminsitration including all ministries, departments, local government, public schools, public health care bodies, the police, the armed forces, security services, and bodies owned or controlled by the above.Score 4 points for central government agencies covered: 1 for the head of state, 1 for ministries, 1 for other non-statutory agencies created by the ministries, 1 for state and local government if the government is unitary. If it´s a federalist system, 2 points for the non-statutory agencies. This can be determined by examining the length and thoroughness of the list, if such a schedule exists. Score 1 point for the archives. Add three points and deduct 1 for each exempted central agency (such as the armed forces, police, etc).8 Partially 4: "People’s Governments and People’s Government offices of the county level or above should set up comprehensive systems for carrying out the work of openness of government information for their State organs, and the designated organ (hereafter referred to at the openness of government information organ) is responsible for the daily work of openness of government information for this adminis trative area. The specific responsibilities of the openness of government information organ are as follows: 1. To undertake all specific matters concerning openness of government information for State organs; 2. To protect and update all publicly available [“o pen”] government information for State organs; 3. To organize and work out openness of government information guides, openness of government information directories and openness of government information annual reports or State organs; 4. To examine all government information for matters of secrecy; 5. Other duties concerning openness of government information designated by State organs." Article 4 seems to apply this law to every government or government office at the county level or higher, but no mention of archives or dependent agencies.
8 The right of access applies to the legislature, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all legislative branch at all levels of government4 NO The law makes no mention of the National People's Congress and it is unclear whether it fits within the defnition of "government"
9 The right of access applies to the judicial branch, including both administrative and other information, with no bodies excluded. Score 1 point if the law only applies to administrative documents, 2-3 points if some bodies excluded, 4 points if all judicial branch at all levels of government4 NO The law does not mention the judiciary.
10 The right of access applies to State-owned enterprises (commercial entities that are owned or controlled by the State). Score 1 point if some, 2 points if all2 NO Not mentioned.
11 The right of access applies to other public authorities, including constitutional, statutory and oversight bodies (such as an election commission or information commission/er). Score 1 point if some bodies, 2 points if all2 NO Not mentioned.
12 The right of access applies to a) private bodies that perform a public function and b) private bodies that receive significant public funding. 1 point for public functions, 1 point for public funding 2 NO Not mentioned.

Requesting Procedures

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13 Requesters are not required to provide reasons for their requests.Y/N answer 0 or 2 points2 NO 13: "Aside from those types of information belonging to release by initiative of State organs outlines in Articles 9, 10, 11, and 12, citizens, legal persons or other organizations can, according to their particular production, life, research and other needs, make an application for obtaining government information with offices of the State Council, people’s governments at various regional levels and local people’s government offices at the county level and above." Artice 13 requires a purpose for a request.The State Council vests discretion in government agencies to refuse access requests that have no relation to requesters’ special needs.
14 Requesters are only required to provide the details necessary for identifying and delivering the information (i.e. some form of address for delivery).Score Max 2 points and deduct if requesters are required to give any of the following: ID number, telephone number, residential address, etc.2 YES 20: "Citizens, legal persons or other organizations who apply with state organs to obtain government information according to the prescriptions of Article 13 [of this ordinance] should submit their requests in writing (this can include digital document forms); applicants who have difficulty making written requests may raise [these requests] orally, to be submitted in writing on their behalf through the state organ to which there are submitting their request. Requests for government information should including the following: 1. The surname or full name of the applicant and their contact information; 2. A description of the government information sought in the application; 3. Expectations of the format in which the government information requested [is to be provided]." Art 20 - Name and contact info only
15 There are clear and relatively simple procedures for making requests. Requests may be submitted by any means of communication, with no requirement to use official forms or to state that the information is being requested under the access to information law.Max 2 points. Considerations include that there is no requirement to state that the request is under the RTI law, nor to use an official form, nor to identify the document being sought. 2 Partially 20: "Citizens, legal persons or other organizations who apply with state organs to obtain government information according to the prescriptions of Article 13 [of this ordinance] should submit their requests in writing (this can include digital document forms); applicants who have difficulty making written requests may raise [these requests] orally, to be submitted in writing on their behalf through the state organ to which there are submitting their request. Requests for government information should including the following: 1. The surname or full name of the applicant and their contact information; 2. A description of the government information sought in the application; 3. Expectations of the format in which the government information requested [is to be provided]." Art 20 - Requests may be made orally, but not electronically.
16 Public officials are required provide assistance to help requesters formulate their requests, or to contact and assist requesters where requests that have been made are vague, unduly broad or otherwise need clarification. Score 1 point for help in formulation and 1 point for clarification procedures2 Partially 21: "State organs shall respond to requests for release of government information in the following ways for the following situations: 1. For [requests] falling within the scope of release, [state organs] should inform the applicant of the methods and channels through which they may obtain the government information. 2. For [requests] falling outside the scope of release, [state organs] should notify the applicant and clearly state the reasons; 3. In case where by law the information does not be long to the state organ [to which the request is made], or where the government information does not exist, the applicant should be notified, and in cases where the [proper] releasing state organ can be determined, [the state organ to which the request is made] should provide the applicant with the name of the [proper] state organ and contact information. 4. In cases where the content requested is unclear, [state organs] should notify the applicant and request they amend or supplement their application." Article 21 has a requirement that the applicant be contacted for clarification, but not that they be assisted.
17     Public officials are required to provide assistance to requesters who require it because of special needs, for example because they are illiterate or disabled.Score Yes=2 point, No=02 YES 20: "Citizens, legal persons or other organizations who apply with state organs to obtain government information according to the prescriptions of Article 13 [of this ordinance] should submit their requests in writing (this can include digital document forms); applicants who have difficulty making written requests may raise [these requests] orally, to be submitted in writing on their behalf through the state organ to which there are submitting their request. Requests for government information should including the following: 1. The surname or full name of the applicant and their contact information; 2. A description of the government information sought in the application; 3. Expectations of the format in which the government information requested [is to be provided]." Article 20 covers illiteracy and disability.
18 Requesters are provided with a receipt or acknowledgement upon lodging a request within a reasonable timeframe, which should not exceed 5 working daysScore 1 point for receipt, 1 point for max 5 working days2 NO Not mentioned.
19 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for situations where the authority to which a request is directed does not have the requested information. This includes an obligation to inform the requester that the information is not held and to refer the requester to another institution or to transfer the request where the public authority knows where the information is held.Score: 1 point for information not held, 1 for referrals or 2 for transfers2 Partially 21: "State organs shall respond to requests for release of government information in the following ways for the following situations: 1. For [requests] falling within the scope of release, [state organs] should inform the applicant of the methods and channels through which they may obtain the government information. 2. For [requests] falling outside the scope of release, [state organs] should notify the applicant and clearly state the reasons; 3. In case where by law the information does not be long to the state organ [to which the request is made], or where the government information does not exist, the applicant should be notified, and in cases where the [proper] releasing state organ can be determined, [the state organ to which the request is made] should provide the applicant with the name of the [proper] state organ and contact information. 4. In cases where the content requested is unclear, [state organs] should notify the applicant and request they amend or supplement their application." Art 21 requires referrals, but not transfers.
20 Public authorities are required to comply with requesters’ preferences regarding how they access information, subject only to clear and limited overrides (e.g. to protect a record).Score: 2 points for Yes, only 1 point if some limitations2 YES 26: "State organs should provide government information according to the format requested by the applicant; when unable to provide [information] in the format requested by the applicant, [information] may be provided by arranging for reading of relevant materials by the applicant, provision of copies or other appropriate means."
21 Public authorities are required to respond to requests as soon as possible.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points 2 YES 24: "When responses can be made on the spot for applications for release of government information, state organs should answer the request on the spot. <...>"
22 There are clear and reasonable maximum timelines (20 working days or less) for responding to requests, regardless of the manner of satisfying the request (including through publication).Score: 1 point for timeframes of 20 working days (or 1 month, 30 days or 4 weeks). Score 2 points for 10 working days (or 15 days, or two weeks) or less.2 Partially 24: " <...> When responses cannot be made on the spot for applications for release of government information, state organs should answer the application within 15 working days of submission of the request; <...>"
23 There are clear limits on timeline extensions (20 working days or less), including a requirement that requesters be notified and provided with the reasons for the extension.---2 Partially 24: "When responses can be made on the spot for applications for release of government information, state organs should answer the request on the spot. When responses cannot be made on the spot for applications for release of government information, state organs should answer the application within 15 working days of submission of the request; if there is a need to extend the period of response, permission should first be sought with the organ responsible for government information release work, notice should be made to the applicant, and extensions to the period of response may not exceed 15 working days. In cases where the release of government information touches on the rights of a third party, the time required for the state organ to seek the opinion of the third party is not figured in to the period stated in the second paragraph of this article." Art 24 - 15 working day extension, plus a requirement for notification. Limits on this are fuzzy however.
24 It is free to file requests.Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 NO Expert tells us such requests are free.
25 There are clear rules relating to access fees, which are set centrally, rather than being determined by individual public authorities. These include a requirement that fees be limited to the cost of reproducing and sending the information (so that inspection of documents and electronic copies are free) and a certain initial number of pages (at least 20) are provided for free. Score 1 point for fees being limited to reproduction and delivery costs and set centrally, 1 point for at least 20 pages free of charge or for fees being optional2 Partially Aritlce 27 requires that government agencies can only charge cost-based fees. A clear charging scheme leaves it to other agencies to clarify according to this principle.
26   There are fee waivers for impecunious requesters ---2 YES Article 28
27 There are no limitations on or charges for reuse of information received from public bodies, except where a third party (which is not a public authority) holds a legally-protected copyright over the information. Score: No=0, Yes=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.


Exceptions

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28 The standards in the RTI Law trump restrictions on information disclosure (secrecy provisions) in other legislation to the extent of any conflict.Score 4 points for a resounding "yes" and 1/2/3 points if only for some classes of information or for some exceptions. If the state secrets law is not trumped by the RTI law max score is 2 points. 4 NO 14: "State organs must create comprehensive systems for examination and protection of secrecy in government information for release, clearly setting out examination procedures and lines of responsibility. Prior to release of government information, State organs must conduct examination in accordance with Law of the People’s Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets [http://www.265ks.com/englishlearning/a/a5/200608/2 50533.html] and other laws and regulations of the government information to be released. In the event the administrative organ cannot determine whether the information in question can or cannot be made public, they should according to laws and rules and relevant national regulations, make a report for determination to the relevant principle office in charge or the office at the same administrative level in charge of matters of secrecy. State organs cannot release government information touching on national secrets, commercial secrets and personal privacy. However, in cases where the consent of the rightful party is obtained, or the administrative organ determines that not releasing certain government information touching on commercial secrecy or personal privacy could do serious harm to the public interest, release may be made."
29 The exceptions to the right of access are consistent with international standards. Permissible exceptions are: national security; international relations; public health and safety; the prevention, investigation and prosecution of legal wrongs; privacy; legitimate commercial and other economic interests; management of the economy; fair administration of justice and legal advice privilege; conservation of the environment; and legitimate policy making and other operations of public authorities. It is also permissible to refer requesters to information which is already publicly available, for example online or in published form.Score 10 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which either (a) falls outside of this list and/or (b) is more broadly framed10 Partially 8: "State organs must not endanger national security, public security, economic security and social stability in the release of government information." 14: "State organs must create comprehensive systems for examination and protection of secrecy in government information for release, clearly setting out examination procedures and lines of responsibility. Prior to release of government information, State organs must conduct examination in accordance with Law of the People’s Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets [http://www.265ks.com/englishlearning/a/a5/200608/2 50533.html] and other laws and regulations of the government information to be released. In the event the administrative organ cannot determine whether the information in question can or cannot be made public, they should according to laws and rules and relevant national regulations, make a report for determination to the relevant principle office in charge or the office at the same administrative level in charge of matters of secrecy. State organs cannot release government information touching on national secrets, commercial secrets and personal privacy. However, in cases where the consent of the rightful party is obtained, or the administrative organ determines that not releasing certain government information touching on commercial secrecy or personal privacy could do serious harm to the public interest, release may be made." Article 8 creates an exception for "social stability". Art 14 exception for "national secrets" is way too broad.
30 A harm test applies to all exceptions, so that it is only where disclosure poses a risk of actual harm to a protected interest that it may be refused. Score 4 points and then deduct 1 point for each exception which is not subject to the harm test 4 Partially 14: "State organs must create comprehensive systems for examination and protection of secrecy in government information for release, clearly setting out examination procedures and lines of responsibility. Prior to release of government information, State organs must conduct examination in accordance with Law of the People’s Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets [http://www.265ks.com/englishlearning/a/a5/200608/2 50533.html] and other laws and regulations of the government information to be released. In the event the administrative organ cannot determine whether the information in question can or cannot be made public, they should according to laws and rules and relevant national regulations, make a report for determination to the relevant principle office in charge or the office at the same administrative level in charge of matters of secrecy. State organs cannot release government information touching on national secrets, commercial secrets and personal privacy. However, in cases where the consent of the rightful party is obtained, or the administrative organ determines that not releasing certain government information touching on commercial secrecy or personal privacy could do serious harm to the public interest, release may be made." Art 14 - National secrets and Commercial secrets aren't harm tested, though the law allows for disclosure if NOT releasing them would hurt the public interest.
31 There is a mandatory public interest override so that information must be disclosed where this is in the overall public interest, even if this may harm a protected interest. There are ‘hard’ overrides (which apply absolutely), for example for information about human rights, corruption or crimes against humanity.Consider whether the override is subject to overarching limitations, whether it applies to only some exceptions, and whether it is mandatory.4 Partially Limited override for privacy and commercial secrets.
32 Information must be released as soon as an exception ceases to apply (for example, for after a contract tender process decision has been taken). The law contains a clause stating that exceptions to protect public interests do not apply to information which is over 20 years old.Score 1 point for each2 NO Not mentioned.
33 Clear and appropriate procedures are in place for consulting with third parties who provided information which is the subject of a request on a confidential basis. Public authorities shall take into account any objections by third parties when considering requests for information, but third parties do not have veto power over the release of information.Score: 1 point for consultation, 1 further point if original time frames must be respected and the law allows for expedited appeals.2 Partially 14: "State organs must create comprehensive systems for examination and protection of secrecy in government information for release, clearly setting out examination procedures and lines of responsibility. Prior to release of government information, State organs must conduct examination in accordance with Law of the People’s Republic of China on Guarding State Secrets [http://www.265ks.com/englishlearning/a/a5/200608/2 50533.html] and other laws and regulations of the government information to be released. In the event the administrative organ cannot determine whether the information in question can or cannot be made public, they should according to laws and rules and relevant national regulations, make a report for determination to the relevant principle office in charge or the office at the same administrative level in charge of matters of secrecy. State organs cannot release government information touching on national secrets, commercial secrets and personal privacy. However, in cases where the consent of the rightful party is obtained, or the administrative organ determines that not releasing certain government information touching on commercial secrecy or personal privacy could do serious harm to the public interest, release may be made." 23: "In cases where the state organ feels the government information requested belongs to the category of commercial secrecy, personal privacy, or could be harmful to the legal rights of a third party if made public, they should seek the opinion of the third party in writing; if the third party does not agree to release, [the information] may not be released. However, if the state organ deems that not releasing the information could have a major impact on the public interest, [the information] should be released, and written notice describing the content and the reasons [for its release] should be made to the third party." Art 14 allows for the receipt of such info where consent comes from a 3rd party. Art 23 requires the body to request that consent, but there's no time limit for that.
34 There is a severability clause so that where only part of a record is covered by an exception the remainder must be disclosed. Score 1 point if yes but sometimes can be refused (eg: if deletions render meaningless the document) and 2 points if partial access must always be granted2 YES 22: "In cases where the government information requested contains information that should not be released, but [the information] can be handled selectively, state organs should provide to the applicant any content that can be provided."
35 When refusing to provide access to information, public authorities must a) state the exact legal grounds and reason(s) for the refusal and b) inform the applicant of the relevant appeals procedures.Score Y/N: 1 point for a and 1 point for b2 Partially 21: "State organs shall respond to requests for release of government information in the following ways for the following situations: 1. For [requests] falling within the scope of release, [state organs] should inform the applicant of the methods and channels through which they may obtain the government information. 2. For [requests] falling outside the scope of release, [state organs] should notify the applicant and clearly state the reasons; 3. In case where by law the information does not belong to the state organ [to which the request is made], or where the government information does not exist, the applicant should be notified, and in cases where the [proper] releasing state organ can be determined, [the state organ to which the request is made] should provide the applicant with the name of the [proper] state organ and contact information. 4. In cases where the content requested is unclear, [state organs] should notify the applicant and request they amend or supplement their application." Art 21 requires clearly stated reasons for refusal.


Appeals

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36 The law offers an internal appeal which is simple, free of charge and completed within clear timelines (20 working days or less).Score 2 points if the internal appeal fulfills these criteria, 1 point if an appeal is offered that does not fulfill this criteria, 0 for no internal appeals.2 YES 33: "If citizens, legal persons or other organizations believe an administrative organ has failed to fulfill, in accordance with the law, its obligations in respect of open government information, they may report it to the higher level administrative organ, the supervision organ or the department in charge of open government information. The organ that receives the report should investigate and handle it. If citizens, legal persons or other organizations believe a specific administrative action of an administrative organ in its open government information work has infringed their lawful rights and interests, they may, in accordance with the law, apply for administrative reconsideration or file an administrative lawsuit." Article 33 for the requirement of administrative reconsideration, a type of internal review. The operation of such review is subject to the Administrative Reconsideration Act. However, it is not mandatory.
37 Requesters have the right to lodge an (external) appeal with an independent administrative oversight body (e.g. an information commission or ombudsman). 1 for partial, 2 for yes2 NO Not mentioned.
38 The member(s) of the oversight body are appointed in a manner that is protected against political interference and have security of tenure so they are protected against arbitrary dismissal (procedurally/substantively) once appointed.Score: 1 point for appointment procedure, 1 point for security of tenure2 NO Not mentioned.
39 The oversight body reports to and has its budget approved by the parliament, or other effective mechanisms are in place to protect its financial independence.Score 1 point for reports to parliament, 1 point for budget approved by parliament2 NO Not mentioned.
40 There are prohibitions on individuals with strong political connections from being appointed to this body and requirements of professional expertise.Score 1 point for not politically connected, 1 point for professional expertise2 NO Not mentioned.
41 The independent oversight body has the necessary mandate and power to perform its functions, including to review classified documents and inspect the premises of public bodies.Score 1 point for reviewing classified documents, 1 point for inspection powers2 NO Not mentioned.
42 The decisions of the independent oversight body are binding. Score N=0, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
43 In deciding an appeal, the independent oversight body has the power to order appropriate remedies for the requester, including the declassification of information. 1 for partial, 2 for fully2 NO Not mentioned.
44 Requesters have the right to lodge a judicial appeal.1 for partially, 2 for fully.2 YES Article 33 allows for administrative lawsuits
45 Appeals to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are free of charge and do not require legal assistance.1 for free, 1 for no lawyer required. 2 Partially Not free, but can be done without a lawyer
46 The grounds for appeal to the oversight body (where applicable, or to the judiciary if no such body exists) are broad (including not only refusals to provide information but also refusals to provide information in the form requested, administrative silence and other breach of timelines, charging excessive fees, etc.).Score 1 point for appealing refusals, additional points for appealing other violations.4 YES Article 1 of the Supreme Court’s Several Issues Related to the Trial of Open Government Information Cases
47 Clear procedures, including timelines, are in place for dealing with external appeals (oversight/judicial).Score 1 point for clear procedures, 1 point for timelines. 2 YES Article 57 of the Administrative Litigation Law: " Article 60 of the Administrative Litigation Law: " Article 57 of the Administrative Litigation Law requires the court to pass a judgment of first instance within three months from the day of filing the case. Article 60 of the Administrative Litigation Law requires the court to make a final judgment within two months from the day of receiving an appeal.
48 In the appeal process (oversight/judicial/) the government bears the burden of demonstrating that it did not operate in breach of the rules.Score Y/N and award 2 points for yes. 2 YES The government generally bears the burden of proof. See Article 5 of the Supreme Court’s Several Issues Related to the Trial of Open Government Information Cases.
49 The external appellate body has the power to impose appropriate structural measures on the public authority (e.g. to conduct more training or to engage in better record management)1 for partial, 2 for fully. 2 NO No - Courts cannot do this.


Sanctions & Proteccions

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50 Sanctions may be imposed on those who wilfully act to undermine the right to information, including through the unauthorised destruction of information.Score 1 point for sanctions for underming right, 1 point for destruction of documents 2 Partially Article 35
51 There is a system for redressing the problem of public authorities which systematically fail to disclose information or underperform (either through imposing sanctions on them or requiring remedial actions of them).Score 1 point for either remedial action or sanctions, 2 points for both 2 NO Not mentioned.
52 The independent oversight body and its staff are granted legal immunity for acts undertaken in good faith in the exercise or performance of any power, duty or function under the RTI Law. Others are granted similar immunity for the good faith release of information pursuant to the RTI Law.Score 1 for oversight body, 1 for immunity for others2 NO Not mentioned.
53 There are legal protections against imposing sanctions on those who, in good faith, release information which discloses wrongdoing (i.e. whistleblowers).Score 2 for strong protections, 1 for moderate protections2 NO Not mentioned.


Promotional measures

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54 Public authorities are required to appoint dedicated officials (information officers) or units with a responsibility for ensuring that they comply with their information disclosure obligations.Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 4: "People’s Governments and People’s Government offices of the county level or above should set up comprehensive systems for carrying out the work of openness of government information for their State organs, and the designated organ (hereafter referred to at the openness of government information organ) is responsible for the daily work of openness of government information for this administrative area. The specific responsibilities of the openness of government information organ are as follows: 1. To undertake all specific matters concerning openness of government information for State organs; 2. To protect and update all publicly available [“open”] government information for State organs; 3. To organize and work out openness of government information guides, openness of government information directories and openness of government information annual reports or State organs; 4. To examine all government information for matters of secrecy; 5. Other duties concerning openness of government information designated by State organs." Article 4 introduces this requirement.
55 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, is given overall responsibility for promoting the right to information. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 2: "The government information referenced in this ordinance is that which is either created or obtained in the exercise of [official] functions, information that is recorded and preserved in whatever form."
56 Public awareness-raising efforts (e.g. producing a guide for the public or introducing RTI awareness into schools) are required to be undertaken by law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 19: "State organs should prepare and publicize guides for government information release and catalogs of government information on file, which are to be updated in a timely manner. Guides on government information release should include types of government information, their systems for arrangement, methods for obtaining information, the names of government information release organizations, their office addresses, office hours, contact telephones, fax numbers and electronic mailing addresses etc. Government information release catalogs should include indexes, names, content summaries, dates and other such content for government information." Article 19 requires that departments promote info regarding the documents available to the public.
57 A system is in place whereby minimum standards regarding the management of records are set and applied. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 NO Not mentioned.
58 Public authorities are required to create and update lists or registers of the documents in their possession, and to make these public. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES 19: "State organs should prepare and publicize guides for government information release and catalogs of government information on file, which are to be updated in a timely manner. Guides on government information release should include types of government information, their systems for arrangement, methods for obtaining information, the names of government information release organizations, their office addresses, office hours, contact telephones, fax numbers and electronic mailing addresses etc. Government information release catalogs should include indexes, names, content summaries, dates and other such content for government information."
59 Training programs for officials are required Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Yes - according to our expert this is included in mandatory training for civil servants.
60 Public authorities are required to report annually on the actions they have taken to implement their disclosure obligations. This includes statistics on requests received and how they were dealt with. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 YES Article 31
61 A central body, such as an information commission(er) or government department, has an obligation to present a consolidated report to the legislature on implementation of the law. Score Y/N, Y=2 points2 Partially The provincial government is required to present a consolidated report. However, the State Council is not required