Access to administrative documents

INSEE and official statistics
Dernière mise à jour le :11/03/2021

Book III of the Code of Relations between the Public and the Administration allows any person to have access to or copies of administrative documents, whatever their form or medium, which emanate from State administrations, local authorities and private law bodies entrusted with a public service mission.

However, the code provides that administrative documents which are unfinished, preparatory to a decision or publicly disseminated (Article L311-2), as well as those whose disclosure would be prejudicial to the exercise of the State's sovereign activities or to the general interest, may not be disclosed (Article L311-5). The law also stipulates (Article L311-6) that administrative documents whose disclosure would undermine the protection of private life or business secrecy may be communicated only to the person concerned.

The methods of communication are at the choice of the applicant (Article L311-9): free consultation on the spot, paper or electronic copy, or online publication of the information.

The Administration has one month to respond to a request (Article R311-13), if not, silence is regarded (Article R*311-12) as an implicit decision to refuse communication. The Committee on Access to Administrative Documents (‘Commission d'Accès aux Documents Administratifs’ or Cada in French) may be called upon (Article R311-15) within two months of the express or tacit refusal to communicate (which occurs one month after the competent authority receives the request). That Committee will issue an opinion within one month on the communicability of the document.

The applicant may challenge the refusal decision before an administrative court within two months from the day on which the Cada registered his request for an opinion.

In order to facilitate the application of the law and the processing of requests for access, and in accordance with Articles L330-1 et R330-2 of the Code on Relations between the Public and the Administration, a person responsible for access to administrative documents (‘personne responsable de l’accès aux documents administratifs’ or Prada in French) has been appointed within the economic and financial ministries, to which INSEE is subordinated.

Individuals wishing to obtain access to documents held by INSEE may, at their own discretion, contact:

  • the Prada contact person at INSEE:

- by e-mail to the following address:
contact-prada@insee.fr
- by post to the following address:
Insee - Unité des Affaires juridiques et contentieuses
88, avenue de Verdier - CS 70058
92 541 MONTROUGE CEDEX

For more information on the general rules applicable to the communication of administrative documents and the re-use of public data, it is possible and recommended to consult the website of the Committee on Access to Administrative Document (Cada): www.cada.fr.