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Access to administrative documents

Verified 02 août 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Do you want to consult a city planning certificate or a minor student's school record? These are administrative documents that you can obtain, subject to conditions. If the affected administration refuses, you can enter the Cada. A possible remedy contentious is then possible before the administrative judge.

The following online service checks whether an administrative document is communicable:

Check the communicability of an administrative document

Commission for Access to Administrative Documents (Canada)

An administrative document is produced or received by a government department, territorial or public service body.

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

These documents may include: file, report, study, report, minutes, statistics, directive, instruction, circular, note and ministerial response, notice, source code, decision, sound recording, film.

The following administrative documents is not possible or is subject to conditions :

  • One unfinished document is not communicable. For example, a draft.
  • One preparatory document for a decision until the decision is taken
  • One public archive covered by protected secret is not communicable. Secret can be protected between 25 and 100 years.
    For example, access to a birth registry is possible after 75 years.
  • One document concerning a named person is only communicable to the person concerned or his agents.
    For example, his lawyer. However, the document is communicable if the administration can keep the information confidential by hiding the personal information.
  • One document containing a sensitive entry is not communicable.
    For example, an opinion of the Council of State and the administrative courts, a document of a financial court, a document of instruction of the Advocate, a document the consultation or dissemination of which would undermine State security.
    However, partial disclosure is possible if sensitive information can be hidden or isolated from the rest of the document.

The following documents, which are not administrative documents, are therefore not communicable :

  • Judicial document. For example, a judgement.
  • Private. For example, a notarized deed.
  • Document of the National Assembly or Senate

You must contact the authority or organisation that holds the document.

In some jurisdictions, there is a person responsible for access to administrative records (PRADA):

Your request can be oral.

However, it is recommended to send a letter or e-mail and to keep a dated copy if there is no response from the administration.

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

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

The administration is not obliged to respond to a abusive request. For example, request a hard copy of a document that is accessible online.

  FYI : if it goes to the public archives, you can also go to the public archives department.

Consult the Public Archives Directory:

Find a public archive

Ministry of Culture and Communication

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.

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

You can view the document freeon site if it is on paper and its preservation allows it.

If you have requested many documents, the administration has the right to suggest that you consult them on site.

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

You can receive free a copy of the document email if it is in numeric format.

You can get paper copy or CD-ROM, at your own expense, if this does not interfere with the preservation of the document and if the requested support is compatible with that of the administration.

The cost depends on the transmission medium.

It may not exceed the following rates:

Transmission Cost




€0.18 per page A4 (black and white)



Decision to refuse

General case

The administration may refuse your request for communication by reasoned decision.

If the administration does not respond in the month upon receipt of your request, this means that they refuse your request (tacit refusal).

You can then enter Cada.

Medical records held by public institutions

The administration may refuse your request for communication by reasoned decision.

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

If you do not respond within these deadlines, the administration will refuse your request.

You can then enter Cada.

Referral to Canada

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

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

You must specify your identity, address, the subject of your application, and include a copy of the decision to refuse or your application that has not been answered.

The commission registers your application and sends you a acknowledgement.

The free.

Who shall I contact
  • Board of Access to Administrative Documents

    If an administration refuses your request for an administrative document, you can enter the Cada.

    By online form

    Seizure Form

    By mail

    TSA 50730

    75334 PARIS CEDEX 07

    By Email

Canada Opinion

The Cada a 1 month from the registration of your application to give an opinion on the possibility to communicate the document to you.

She notify its opinion, by mail or mail, to yourself and the authority involved.

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

If the administration keeps silent while 2 months Once Canada has registered your application, it means that it refuses your communication request.

If the administration maintains its initial refusal despite the favourable opinion of Canada, or if it confirms the unfavourable opinion of Canada, you may appeal contentious before the administrative judge.

  FYI : the Cada does not communicate any documents submitted by the administration as part of the investigation of a file. Only the administration can do it.


You 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 2021, implicit decision of refusal occurs on 1to December 2021 if no response from the administration. You then have until 1to February 2022 to file a contentious appeal.

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

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 against you, you can challenge in cassation before the Council of State.