Tuesday, 13 October 2020 23:12

Government Digital Business Plan on-track to paperless future, says DocuSign

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SaaS-based electronic document signing platform provider, DocuSign, says the Australian Government’s Digital Business Plan is a significant step forward in fast-tracking Australia’s shift to a paperless digital economy.

The Federal Government announced almost $800 million dedicated to enabling businesses to take advantage of digital technologies to grow their businesses and create jobs as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery.

Over the last six months, the Federal and State Governments have temporarily allowed digital platforms, like Skype, FaceTime and Zoom, to be used for remote electronic witnessing and use of electronic signatures for signing legal documents such as deeds.

DocuSign says this has been a significant step in the right direction, however, stakeholders in various industries including the financial and legal sectors have been calling for the government to make the temporary state and federal legislation for broadening the use of electronic signing of documents permanent.

Doug Luftman, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, DocuSign, said “The COVID-19 crisis has put a bright spotlight on how outdated federal and state laws significantly impact business and hinder everyday activities, like signing important documents.

We commend the Australian government's latest efforts of ‘consulting on making permanent the temporary reforms to allow companies to hold virtual meetings and execute documents electronically’ as a key element of its Digital Business plan. This is an important national step for Australia. 

We believe it also is equally important that state governments follow suit, and work to ensure state and territory laws also are permanently modernised to ensure its residents can continue to conduct a broad range of important digital activities, such as electronically signing deeds.

Given Australia’s digital economy has taken such great strides in the last six months in introducing important interim digital measures, it doesn’t make sense to now revert back to the country’s old ways. Australia has a unique opportunity to continue its digital journey.”

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) lends its support to DocuSign, also calling to convert temporary federal and state legislation into permanent laws that would support Australians to electronically sign a broader number of documents.

Anna Bligh AC, Chief Executive, ABA, said that “these changes will make banking faster and easier” and called on state governments to “work together through the national cabinet to ensure state and territories laws are consistent.”


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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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