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Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, DocuSign, said “The COVID-19 crisis has put a bright spotlight on how outdated federal and state laws significantly impact business and hinder everyday activities, like signing important documents.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