Requesting a document from a government administration or department

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Luxembourgish government administrations and departments are required to publish their documents online, either on their own websites or on the Luxembourgish data platform.

This procedure reflects a policy of openness to citizens (be they natural or legal persons) with regards to the documents held by:

  • government administrations and departments;
  • communes and associations of communes;
  • public-sector establishments under the authority of the State or a commune;
  • legal persons providing public services;
  • the Chamber of Deputies;
  • the Council of State;
  • the Ombudsman;
  • the Court of Auditors;
  • the professional chambers.

When a document is amended, the State publishes a new, updated version.

Who is concerned?

Who is concerned

Natural and legal persons are entitled to access administrative documents pertaining to administrative activities, and to request the disclosure of any accessible document:

  • regardless of the format of the document;
  • without having to assert a personal interest.

Documents in question

This right is applicable only to administrative documents pertaining to the exercise of an administrative activity. Examples include circulars, activity reports, studies, statistics, minutes and reports of administrative council meetings, etc.

This right does not apply to documents pertaining to:

  • foreign relations, Luxembourg national security or public order;
  • the safety of persons or their right to privacy;
  • the conduct of proceedings before judicial, extra-judicial or disciplinary bodies, or operations carried out prior to the start of such proceedings;
  • the prevention, detection or prosecution of punishable offences;
  • intellectual property rights;
  • legally protected secrets or confidential matters;
  • the administrative bodies’ remit of oversight, verification and regulation;
  • the confidential nature of business/trade information communicated to those bodies;
  • the ability of the administrative bodies to implement their economic, financial, fiscal and trade policies, if publishing the documents could hamper the related decision-making processes;
  • confidential discussions within the Government.


In principle, these documents are provided free of charge.

For certain documents, a fee may be requested if copies are issued. However, that fee may not exceed the actual cost of copying, printing and/or sending the document.

How to proceed

Filing an application

Anyone wishing to request the disclosure of a document may do so:

  • through; or
  • in writing.

The applicant must:

  • select the administrative body to which they wish to address their request;
  • provide a precise description of the document, either as free-form text or using a standard form available from the body in question.


Any document that contains:

  • the applicant's personal data; or
  • an assessment/value judgement of the applicant; or
  • an opinion expressed in confidence to the body;

is accessible only to the individual who is directly concerned. Before a document containing this type of information can be disclosed, the person who the document pertains to will need to waive its confidentiality.

A body may disclose documents that contain personal data or an assessment/value judgement of third parties, either explicitly named or easily identifiable, if:

  • it is possible to redact or extract those third parties' information at no extra cost;
  • the third parties have consented, in writing, to such disclosure.

The disclosure application may be denied if it:

  • pertains to documents which are unfinished or still being drafted;
  • pertains to a document that has already been published, or which was produced for commercial purposes;
  • is excessive in terms of its number, systematic nature or repetitiveness;
  • pertains to internal communications.


The body will disclose the requested document:

  • as quickly as possible; and
  • at the latest, within one month of receiving the application.

The document is issued as a single copy:

  • electronically, if:
    • the document is available in electronic form; and
    • the applicant has provided their email address;
  • for consultation on-site, if reproduction would:
    • damage the document and thus endanger its preservation; or
    • be impossible given the nature of the document.

Filing of accessible documents in the National Archives does not preclude their disclosure.

In certain cases, disclosure may take up to 2 months if:

  • the volume and complexity of the requested documents are such that the one-month time limit cannot be met;
  • the request is sent to an administrative body which does not have the document;
  • the administrative body needs to redact or extract other people's personal data;
  • the document has been filed in the National Archives;
  • the administrative body needs to consult a third party.

In these cases, the administrative body will:

  • notify the applicant; and
  • indicate the reasons for the extension, before the normal one-month time limit expires.

If a request is overly general, the time limit will be suspended until a more specific request is received.


Anyone whose disclosure request is denied may appeal against that decision. To do so, the applicant must apply to the Commission on the Access to Documents (Commission d’accès aux documents - CAD) for its opinion, within a month of the notification:

  • through; or
  • in writing, in the form of a simple letter.

The applicant must:

  • where applicable, provide the reference number of the request, and include a free-form comment, if they wish;
  • attach the notification of the decision to deny disclosure.

The CAD will notify both the applicant and the administration of its opinion within 2 months of the filing of the appeal.

If the CAD deems that the document in question may be disclosed, and the administrative body decides to follow the CAD's opinion, the administrative body must disclose the document within one month of receiving notice of the opinion. If not, it is deemed to have rejected the application.

If the CAD deems that the document may not be disclosed, then the administrative body must confirm its refusal to disclose the document within one month of receiving notice of the CAD's opinion.

The CAD's opinion may not be appealed before the courts. Only the decision of the administrative body in light of the CAD's opinion may be appealed before the Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal administratif).

The appeal to have the decision reversed must be lodged with the Administrative Tribunal within 3 months. This time limit begins:

  • after one month has elapsed, if the administrative body fails to disclose the document, even though it has received the CAD's opinion deeming the document to be disclosable;
  • as of the administrative body's confirmation of its refusal to disclose the document deemed not to be disclosable by the CAD;
  • after one month has elapsed, if the administrative body fails to confirm the refusal to disclose the document, even though it has received the CAD's decision deeming the document not be disclosable.

Lodging an appeal with the CAD is optional. Applicants may also lodge an appeal directly with the Administrative Tribunal.

Online services and forms

Related procedures and links


Further information

The Luxembourgish open data platform

Legal references

Loi du 14 septembre 2018

relative à une administration transparente et ouverte

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