19.360.010  <<  19.360.020 >>   19.360.030

RCW 19.360.020

State and local agencies—Electronic signatures and records—Use and acceptance.

(1) Unless specifically provided otherwise by law or agency rule, whenever the use of a written signature is authorized or required by this code with a state or local agency, an electronic signature may be used with the same force and effect as the use of a signature affixed by hand, as long as the electronic signature conforms to the definition in RCW 19.360.030 and the writing conforms to RCW 19.360.040.
(2) Except as otherwise provided by law, each state or local agency may determine whether, and to what extent, the agency will send and accept electronic records and electronic signatures to and from other persons and otherwise create, generate, communicate, store, process, use, and rely upon electronic records and electronic signatures. Nothing in chapter 72, Laws of 2015 requires a state or local agency to send or accept electronic records or electronic signatures when a writing or signature is required by statute.
(3) Except as otherwise provided by law, for governmental affairs and governmental transactions with state agencies, each state agency electing to send and accept shall establish the method that must be used for electronic submissions and electronic signatures. The method and process for electronic submissions and the use of electronic signatures must be established by policy or rule and be consistent with the policies, standards, or guidance established by the chief information officer required in subsection (4) of this section.
(4)(a) The chief information officer, in coordination with state agencies, must establish standards, guidelines, or policies for the electronic submittal and receipt of electronic records and electronic signatures for governmental affairs and governmental transactions. The standards, policies, or guidelines must take into account reasonable access by and ability of persons to participate in governmental affairs or governmental transactions and be able to rely on transactions that are conducted electronically with agencies. Through the standards, policies, or guidelines, the chief information officer should encourage and promote consistency and interoperability among state agencies.
(b) In order to provide a single point of access, the chief information officer must establish a web site that maintains or links to the agency rules and policies established pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.
(5) Except as otherwise provided by law, for governmental affairs and governmental transactions with local agencies, each local agency electing to send and accept shall establish the method that must be used for electronic submissions and electronic signatures. The method and process for electronic submissions and the use of electronic signatures must be established by ordinance, resolution, policy, or rule. The local agency shall also establish standards, guidelines, or policies for the electronic submittal and receipt of electronic records and electronic signatures for governmental affairs and governmental transactions. The standards, policies, or guidelines must take into account reasonable access by and ability of persons to participate in governmental affairs or governmental transactions and be able to rely on transactions that are conducted electronically with agencies.
NOTES:
Intent2016 c 95: "Local governments must be efficient and prudent stewards of our residents' tax resources. To best serve our communities, certain local government statutes must be amended to reflect technological and organizational change. It is the intent of the legislature to clarify current authorities so that local government can better serve their residents, and it is the intent of the legislature that the following sections allow local government to pursue modern methods of serving their residents while preserving the public's right to access public records, and judiciously using scarce county resources to achieve maximum benefit." [ 2016 c 95 § 1.]
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