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Public Services

Online Catalogues

  1. Archives and Library Collection
  2. Archival Records
  3. Library Collection
  4. Archives for Still and Moving Images
  5. Carl Smith Collection

Access to public records

Access to public records kept by GRS is managed through the Public Records (Access) Rules 1996. In general, members of the public are allowed access to public records which have been in existence for not less than 30 years or the contents of which have at any time been published.

Applications for access to closed records

Access to closed records (e.g. records under 30 years) requires prior application in writing to the Government Records Service (GRS) Director. In considering whether to permit access to closed records, we will consult the originating/transferring agency of the records on the access status. If the originating/transferring agency considers that the closed records are not suitable for public access, it is required to provide reasons with reference to Part 2 of the Code on Access to Information. The GRS Director may permit any person to inspect closed records which are held in GRS in cases where he is satisfied that the records to which access is required contain no information or other matter which it may be in the public interest for the time being to withhold from public access.

Applications for access to closed records should be addressed to :

Public Records Office
Government Records Service
3/F, Hong Kong Public Records Building,
13 Tsui Ping Road,
Kwun Tong, Kowloon,
Hong Kong

Email :
Fax : (852) 2804 6413


For enquiries, please call (852) 2195 7775 during office hours.

Appeals / Complaints

If you are not satisfied with the decision on your application for access to closed records, you may write to the Director of Administration asking for an appeal against the decision by providing supporting information and arguments. The contact information is as follows –

Director of Administration
Administration Wing
25/F, Central Government Offices,
2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar,
Hong Kong

Email :
Fax : (852) 2877 0802

If you are concerned about any maladministration in the handling of your application, you may lodge a complaint with The Ombudsman. The contact information is as follows -

The Ombudsman
30/F, China Merchants Tower,
Shun Tak Centre,
168-200 Connaught Road Central,
Hong Kong

Email :
Telephone : (852) 2629 0555
Fax : (852) 2882 8149