Access to administrative documents

INSEE and official statistics
Dernière mise à jour le : 24/01/2024

Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletBook 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 Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletL311-2), 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 Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletL311-5). The law also stipulates (Article Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletL311-6) that administrative documents whose disclosure would undermine the protection of private life or business secrecy may be communicated only to the person concerned.

The right of access to administrative documents applies only to existing documents. With regard to information contained in computer files, only information that can be extracted by commonly used automated processing is considered to be an existing administrative document (Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletsee Cada opinion 20141989).

The methods of communication are at the choice of the applicant (Article Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletL311-9): 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 Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletR311-13), if not, silence is regarded (Article Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletR*311-12) as an implicit decision to refuse communication. The Committee on Access to Administrative Documents (Ouvrir dans un nouvel onglet‘Commission d'Accès aux Documents Administratifs’ or Cada in French) may be called upon (Article Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletR311-15) 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 Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletL330-1 et Ouvrir dans un nouvel ongletR330-2 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:

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): Ouvrir dans un nouvel