Digital Signatures in Use in North Carolina Government Reply

North Carolina State Government is stepping into the digital landscape with Digital Signatures. In the 2011 session, the General Assembly authorized the Office of State controller the task of planning, developing, and implementing “a coordinated enterprise electronic forms and digital signatures.[1] The State Controller’s office convened a workgroup and in August 2012, the state entered an agreement with DocuSign© to provide digital signature capabilities and services to the State of North Carolina.

I was fortunate to serve on this work group and represented the overall “public records” piece including the retention and disposition of such digitally signed documents. As a follow up, the Department of Cultural Resources is crafting a policy document regarding digital signatures from a records management perspective—where to store, what do you have to maintain, what do you need to provide in a public records request, and do digital signatures last forever in the digital world.

The State Controller’s office has two small pilot projects, one involving travel reimbursement and the other with the Department of Justice to develop the workflow and begin implementation. On October 30, OSC will hold an E-Commerce Conference at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh to kick off this initiative. Docusign© will be there and will be discussing how their product works. For more information or to register, please visit http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22GK9SJST6Y and register by Oct. 15.

The State Archives of North Carolina will have a policy document about digital signatures and their validity as well as a “how to” document by October 30. We look forward to working with agencies as they move into a new way of doing business.

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[1] 2011-145, House Bill 200 6A.18, effective October 1, 2011

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