Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 3
Renmin Chinese Law Review: Selected Papers of The Jurist
Edited by Jichun Shi
Chapter 2: The true meaning of ‘information-in-process’ based on a series of cases in Shanghai
The provision that ‘information-in-process is exempt’ is gradually becoming the third legal basis for exemption from disclosure for information held by the government. When applying this provision, information held by the government has usually been misunderstood as an administrative decision, and the process of information generation has been misunderstood as the process of making an administrative decision. Consequently, any information that is generated or obtained before administrative decisions have been made is regarded as information-in-process and thus exempt. However, information-in-process actually refers to information that does not have any use value because it is still in-the-making, informal and incomplete. The term emphasizes the status of information itself rather than the whole process of making the administrative decision. ‘In process’ does not relate to the nature of such kinds of exempt information and should be replaced by the term ‘in-the-making’.
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