Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Civil Servant Law in China

China's Civil Servant Law was adopted on 4 April 2005 and went into effect on 1 June 2006. This law requires a civil servant to protect the secrets relating to their work (Article 12) and not to disclose any work secrets (Article 54). However, this law does not define work secrets. In practice, this undefined term could mean everything concerning government operations, and this will significantly encourage government officials in advocating secrecy. [1] Regulations on Imposing punishment on Civil Servants in the Administrative Branch were adopted by the State Council on 29 April 2007, and went into effect on 1 June 2007. Civil servants are liable to a variety of administrative sanctions, such as warning, demerit record, heavy demerit record, demotion, dismissal and discharge, for their disclosure of state and work secrets resulting in various adverse consequences (Article 26).

While work secrets are not formally provided for under China's FOI Regulations, it is still necessary to clearly define this broad term in order to avoid its adverse effect on FOI.

[1] Hanhua Zhou, Draft for FOI Regulations (1st ed. 2003) 112.

"> " title="permanent link">#

No comments: