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Access to administrative documents

Verified 11 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Do you want to view an administrative document, such as a city planning certificate or a school record? We tell you how to apply and how to enter the Cada: titleContent in case of refusal.

Step-by-step approach

An administrative document is produced or received by State Department, territorial, public or private body responsible for a public service mission.

For example, a prefecture, a town hall, a social security fund, Pôle emploi.

These documents may include: record, report, study, report, minutes, statistics, directive, instruction, circular, memorandum and ministerial response, opinion, source code, decision.

An administrative document can take a form written, registration sound or visual or digital or IT.

FYI  

A character document judicial (for example, a judgement), a document private (e.g. a notarial act), or a National Assembly or Senate are not administrative documents.

One online service check the communicability of an administrative document:

Check the communicability of an administrative document

The communication of following administrative documents is not possible or subject to ::

  • Document Unfinished
    For example, a draft.
    A document is only communicable in its final form.
  • Decision preparatory document
    A preparatory document for a decision is only available when the decision it is preparing has been taken.
  • A document of sensitive content
    For example, the Rights Defender, a document the consultation or disclosure of which would affect public safety.
    However, their partial communication is possible if sensitive information can be hidden or isolated from the rest of the document.
  • Person Document
    A document concerning a person is only communicated to that person or his agents taking into account the right to medical confidentiality, respect for one's privacy and business secrecy.
    However, the document is communicable if the administration can preserve the confidentiality of the information by hiding the personal information.
  • Public archive covered by protected secret
    Secret can be protected between 25 and 100 years.
    For example, access to a birth registry of civil status is possible after 75 years.

FYI  

The administration is not required to disclose documents that you can obtain by yourself, given their public release.

Who should I contact?

Contact administration or the who holds the document.

In some jurisdictions, person is responsible for access to administrative documents (Prada)

If the desired document is placed in the public archives, you can also contact the relevant public archives department.

Consult the Public Archives Directory:

Find an archive service for the public

The Archive Service will tell you if necessary how long the archived document can be released.

It also tells you whether you can request early access to the archived document.

How do I apply?

Your request can be oral.

However, it is recommended to send a letter or e-mail and keep a dated copy if the administration does not respond.

You do not have to justify (i.e. justify) your request.

Your request must be precise to have the administration identify the desired document.

Choose if you want consult document on site or receive by mail or email.

FYI  

The administration is not obliged to respond to a abusive request. For example, a request to disrupt the proper functioning of the requested administration.

Répondez aux questions successives et les réponses s’afficheront automatiquement

General case

The administration must provide you with the document in a one month upon receipt of your request.

If no answer within 1 month once your request is received, it means that your request is refused (tacit refusal).

The Authority may also refuse your request for communication by reasoned decision.

Your request is for a medical record

The response time depends on the length of the medical file:

  • If the medical record is less than 5 years, the respond in 8 days upon receipt of your request.
  • If the medical record is 5 years or older, the respond in 2 months upon receipt of your request.

If no response is received within these time limits, this means that the administration refuses your request (tacit refusal).

The Authority may also refuse your request for communication by reasoned decision.

What mode of communication?

You choose how to communicate the document within the limits of administrative technical possibilities.

The communication of the document shall not affect its preservation and good conservation.

Thus, according to the document, the administration may propose:

  • On-site consultation
  • Reproduction
  • E-mail

If you requested many documents, the administration has the right to propose you to consult them on the spot.

The administration may also spread over time your access to documents.

FYI  

An administration can also communicate the document by posting it online, provided that it is available to any person and is anonymized if necessary.

What cost?

The on-site consultation is free.

E-mail copy of a document in numeric format is free.

The reproduction is paying. Depending on the communication medium of the document, the cost cannot exceed the following rates:

Transmission Cost

Support

Maximum Rate

Paper

€0.18 per page A4 (black and white)

Cedom

€2.75

How soon?

Seizure Cada: titleContent done within 2 months following notification the written decision or the tacit refusal of the administration.

Please note

You must enter Cada: titleContent before doing a litigation. However, this principle has exceptions, for example in the case of referral to the judge.

What cost?

Seizure Cada: titleContent is free.

How?

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General case

You can enter Cada: titleContent by online form, by letter or email.

You must specify:

  • Your identity
  • Your Address
  • The subject of your request

Attach a copy of the refusal decision or your request that has not been answered.

Who shall I contact

Series of 5 or more requests

From 5 requests for the communication of documents sent to different administrations, and with the same object, you group to enter Cada: titleContent.

You can enter Canada by form online, by letter or email.

You must specify:

  • Your identity
  • Your Address
  • The subject of your request
  • For each authority entered, its name, email address (in the absence of an email, postal address), the date on which you entered a communication request and, if necessary, the date of notification the refusal to communicate.

Attach the documents showing that at least one refusal was made by one of the jurisdictions seized.

Who shall I contact

Please note

Your referral to Canada for the series of requests is compulsory prior administrative appeal for each request in the series.

Acknowledgement of your request

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General case

If necessary, Cada: titleContent prompts you to complete your request.

Canada record your request when it is complete.

It charge then reception without delay.

Series of 5 or more requests

If necessary, Cada: titleContent prompts you to complete your group request.

Canada record your bundled application when it is complete.

It charge then reception without delay.

The acknowledgement shall indicate the list of applications in the series.

FYI  

Canada will hear the application against a single jurisdiction whose refusal you have communicated to Canada.

Receipt of Canada's Notice

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General case

The Cada: titleContent you notify its opinion by letter or by email in 1 month deadline from the registration of your application.

Canada shall notify its opinion within the same period of time to the authority which refused your request for a document.

Series of 5 or more requests

The Cada: titleContent you notify its opinion in 1 month deadline from the registration of your application.

Canada shall notify its opinion within the same period to each of the administrations correctly identified.

The other jurisdictions inform you of their decision whether or not to comply with Canada's notice. They have a period of 1 month following notification of the notice to do so.

FYI  

Canada will hear the application against a single jurisdiction whose refusal you have communicated to Canada. However, it shall notify its opinion to each of the administrations correctly identified.

Please note

Even in the event of a favourable opinion from Canada, administration to right to confirm refusal.

If the administration maintains its initial refusal despite Canada's favourable opinion, or if it confirms Canada's unfavourable opinion, you may litigation.

You can appeal to administrative judge in 2 months following implied decision to refuse administration.

The implicit decision to refuse occurs when the administration remains silent for 2 months from the registration of your application by Canada.

Example :

If Canada registers your application on 1to october 2022, the implicit decision to refuse occurs on 1to December 2022 if no response from the administration. You then have up to 1to February 2023 to file a contentious appeal.

The competent court shall be the court in which the administration concerned has its seat.

Who shall I contact

The judge may ask the administration to provide all documents necessary for the case, including documents that have been refused.

If the judge finds that the refusal to disclose is unlawful, he or she can overturn the decision of the administration to refuse.

In this case, the judge may also, at your request, require the administration to provide you with the document, possibly under penalty of delay.

If the judge's decision is unfavourable to you, you can challenge in cassation before the Council of State.

Check the communicability of an administrative document

Referring to the Administrative Documents Access Commission (Canada)

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region