The State Council instructed its departments and provincial-level authorities to enhance information disclosure and procedures in a circular issued on April 21.
The circular covered a range of areas, including requesting departments to further disclose the items of administrative approvals they have streamlined or delegated to lower levels. It also asked local authorities to disclose lists of the powers authorized by law.
Central government departments as well as local authorities must meet deadlines for disclosing approved budgets and final accounts, the arrangement of transfer payments and government debts, the circular added. The authorities should also make public the details of government funds spent on sponsoring official business trips abroad, purchasing government cars and hosting official receptions.
The central government and local authorities must also release details about the distribution of public resources, such as those used for shanty-town renovation projects, the distribution of apartments in affordable housing projects, and their plans concerning land supply.
They should disclose information about major construction projects, including railways, urban infrastructure and energy conservation. The information should include bidding procedures, safety inspections and the management of funds.
Information about public services, such as the balance of the social security fund, the process of college admission and the distribution of emergency aid subsidiaries, should be included.
Finally, they should further disclose information about State-owned companies, environmental monitoring, food and drug safety and non-governmental organizations.
The State Council also required authorities to disclose information concerning citizens’ rights and obligations following the Regulation on the Disclosure of Government Information.
Also, policies must be interpreted in a timely fashion as must laws and regulations that are important or have attracted public attention. They should respond to emergencies and widely discussed issues that fall into their departments as soon as possible through various channels, including the Internet and news conferences.
Finally, authorities should make it easier for people to get the information they want when they file applications requesting information disclosure.