Last month, Director Melanie Ann Pustay traveled to Beijing to participate in a series of workshops focusing on China’s Regulations on Open Government Information (OGI Regulations) in a program co-sponsored by Yale Law School’s China Law Center and China University of Politics and Law’s Center on Government by Law. During this series, Director Pustay provided insight to academic and government participants from across China on key principles for access to information laws and shared examples from the United States’ own Freedom of Information Act.
The first workshop of the program, Revising China’s Open Government Information Regulations and Drafting a Law of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information, focused on a number of issues that have arisen since China implemented the OGI Regulations on May 1, 2008. Workshop participants discussed these issues in detail and how they might best be addressed in light of international experience and China’s particular circumstances. In addition to discussing the implementation of the FOIA in the United States, Director Pustay also shared her observations based on her previous work with China assisting them in the implementation of their OGI Regulations and her experiences in consulting with various foreign governments on the development or improvement of their information access laws.
During the second workshop, Director Pustay focused on the importance of government professionals receiving adequate training and guidance on the proper implementation of any OGI Regulation. Director Pustay also emphasized the significance of good customer service and communication with requesters when implementing any access law. As a part of her presentation, Director Pustay highlighted the key role in the United States of agency FOIA Public Liaisons and their statutory responsibility to assist requesters.
As with previous trips to other nations, Director Pustay’s trip stems from OIP’s core mission of encouraging federal agency compliance with the FOIA here in the United States. OIP leadership and subject matter experts routinely meet with delegations from foreign governments and international organizations on the administration of the FOIA and the importance of information access laws. A comprehensive listing of the events that OIP leadership and subject matter experts participate in throughout the year is available on the Key Dates page of our site.