Administrative file of a public official: what are the management rules?

Verified 03 July 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Your personal file contains all the documents concerning your administrative situation and your career development. It can be managed electronically.

Your individual file gathers all documents concerning your administrative situation.

It shall include in particular documents relating to the following information:

  • Your marital status
  • Your family situation
  • Your military situation
  • Your diplomas
  • Your career: appointment, promotion, internal promotion, change of statutory position (secondment, parental leave, availability, etc.)
  • Your professional assessments
  • The training you have taken
  • Your absences: leave orders (maternity, paternity, sickness, etc.).

These documents shall be recorded, numbered and filed without discontinuity.

Your folder should not contain no document mentioning your political, trade union, religious or philosophical opinions or activities.

Pursuant to medical confidentialityHowever, no information about your health should be included either. Only the administrative consequences of your state of health can appear in your file (sick leave order, medical advice, etc.).

The mention of disciplinary sanctions amnesties or erased is also prohibited. On the other hand, the documents referring to the facts giving rise to the sanction are not withdrawn.

The individual file is unique : all documents concerning you must be collected there.


In the territorial civil service, the management centers shall compile one individual file per official, for the exercise of their tasks in relation to the communities which are affiliated to them. This file includes a copy of the records, which are contained in the file maintained by the employer community, relating to the grievor's career. It is available to you and your employer community.

Paper or electronic file

Your folder can be managed in paper format.

It may also be created and managed, in whole or in part, on electronic support from digitized paper documents or produced directly in electronic form.

Where electronic and paper media coexist, any document placed on the file may be kept only on one of the two media, so that the file remains unique.

Move to electronic record

The conditions for the creation and transition to electronic file management shall be laid down by the administration, after consulting the Social Committee.

The administration shall draw up a list of documents, the categories of staff concerned and the timetable for implementing such management.

In particular, it shall fix the date from which any new documents entered in the file may be entered only in electronic form.

Transfer of file

In case of secondment or making available, your folder remains managed by your home administration.

Your host administration shall forward to your home administration the documents drawn up during the period of secondment or making available.

The file is transferred to your host administrationin case of transfer or hiring by another administration.

If your host administration does not manage its agents’ files electronically, your home administration creates a paper copy of your electronic file. Your electronic record is subsequently destroyed.

Time limit for keeping the file

A shelf life for day-to-day management shall be established by decree for each document type.

At the end of the period of retention under current management, each document shall be subject either to intermediate archiving or destruction, under conditions laid down by order.

Intermediate archiving ends at the end of the document's administrative useful life of your 80th birthday.

At the end of the period of administrative usefulness, the documents shall either be permanently archived in a public archive or destroyed.

Request to consult the individual file

You can at any time request, in writing, to consult your file. You don't have to justify your request.

Your administrative record can only be viewed by you. But you can bring a person of your choice to the consultation.

The administration must respond to your request within one-month period. Beyond that, failure to respond is tantamount to refusal.

If you refuse or fail to reply within one month, you can enter the commission for access to administrative documents (Canada).

Canada shall issue an opinion on your application, which shall be communicated to you and your administration.

Your administration will inform Canada of the action it is taking on your request.

If she confirms her refusal, explicitly or silently, you can go to the administrative court.

The consultation can take place during working hours, but if you request a copy, you can take the copy of your file with you to consult it at home.

Request to withdraw or add a document to the individual file

In case of dematerialization of your folder, you are informed of the conditions under which you can assert your rights with regard to the processing of personal data.

You can request the rectification of information, the withdrawal or the addition of a document to your administration, either during the consultation or later.

For example, you can request that a letter stating a union mandate be removed from your file.

On the other hand, an interview report with your supervisor concerning your administrative situation must be included in your individual file. Your administration should inform you that this document is on file. You can't ask for it to be removed or destroyed.

In the case of the coexistence of an electronic medium with a paper medium, your request for access and rectification is valid for the entire file, whatever the medium.

Request for a copy of the individual file

You can ask for the copy of your individual file.

If your file is in electronic format, the copy is provided to you by one of the following means:

  • Send to your business email address or deliver digital media
  • Delivery of a paper copy of the original.