China probably will not formally commemorate the sixth anniversary of its national regulations on open government information on May 1 this year. But now is a good time to revisit the Ordinance on Open Government Information (政府信息公开条例), which made headlines this week thanks to a court case in Guangzhou that is atypical, if not exactly landmark.

On April 1, Guangzhou’s New Express reported that Guangdong’s Health and Family Planning Commission (省卫计委) had lost a lawsuit brought against it last year by Zhejiang lawyer Wu Youshui (吴有水), stemming from the commission’s refusal to provide information Wu had requested under the Ordinance on Open Government Information.

Wu Youshui SM
Zhejiang lawyer Wu Youshui is interviewed by Guangzhou’s New Express after his successful lawsuit against Guangdong’s Health and Family Planning Commission.

Passed in May 2007, China’s regulations on open government information (OGI) require government agencies across the country to “proactively” release certain categories of information through public and online services, and establish clear procedures by which citizens can request information. The regulations also require state-level agencies to compile annual reports on their work with respect to OGI.