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Genealogy and Family History

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Public Service

Federal Public Service Personnel Records

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Personnel records for the Federal Public Service contain information about the individual's employment history, as well as personal information. Files are retained for 80 years dating from the individual's birth date. After eighty years, all these records are destroyed. A few selected personnel files were retained for historical purposes, as explained on the previous page under Historical Files.

How to Send an Inquiry Concerning Your Own or Another Individual's Records

  • Your request must be signed.
  • To identify a file, we require surname, full given name(s), date of birth and social insurance number (S.I.N.).
  • If you do not know the date of birth or S.I.N., secondary information (e.g. the names of next of kin, dates and department where employed) can assist in identifying the correct individual.
  • Consult the section below on Access Restrictions.
  • Please specify what document(s) you require. If you are doing family history research, we recommend that you request a "genealogy package," which will include copies of selected documents from the file that highlight/summarize the individual's service.
  • We do not accept email inquiries for these records.
  • Inquiries should be sent by mail or fax to:

Personnel Records
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0N4
Fax: 613-947-8456

If you are inquiring about your own records and you left the public service less than two years ago, please contact the Human Resources office in the department where you were employed.

Access Restrictions

  • Access to personal information relating to an individual who is still living requires that person's signed consent.
  • If the individual has been deceased for less than 20 years, limited information may be released to immediate family. Proof of death and relationship must be provided.
  • There are no restrictions on access to information relating to an individual who has been deceased for more than 20 years. Proof of death is required.

Proof of death: A copy of a death certificate, newspaper obituary, funeral notice or photograph of the gravestone. Note that proof of death is not required if the individual died while still employed with the public service.

Proof of relationship: A document that clearly demonstrates the relationship between the individual concerned and the person requesting the record. Both names must appear on the document. A newspaper obituary, baptismal certificate or full-form birth certificate are acceptable. A wallet-sized birth certificate that does not indicate parents' names is not accepted. Please do not send original documents; photocopies are acceptable.

Immediate family: A parent, spouse, child, sibling or grandchild of the individual.

Should you wish to submit a formal request under Access To Information and Privacy legislation, see: Records of the Government of Canada.

Research Online

These records are protected by the provisions of privacy legislation. For the same reason, the database and indexes that are used to identify the files cannot be made available on our Web site. Only staff may access them.

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