Chapter 19.360 RCW

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES AND RECORDS

Sections

19.360.010Intent.
19.360.020State and local agenciesElectronic signatures and recordsUse and acceptance.
19.360.030Definition"Electronic signature"Use of term.
19.360.040Definition"Record"Use of term.
19.360.050Definition"Electronic"Use of term.
19.360.060Definitions"State agency" and "local agency."


Intent.

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The legislature recognizes that the electronic signatures in global and national commerce act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 7001 et seq., applies to federal and state transactions, including certain governmental transactions, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce relating to this state. In chapter 72, Laws of 2015, the legislature, to the extent not already authorized by federal or state law, authorizes electronic dealings for governmental affairs and establishes the implementation framework for electronic governmental affairs and governmental transactions. Chapter 72, Laws of 2015 is intended to promote electronic transactions and remove barriers that might prevent electronic transactions with governmental entities.



State and local agenciesElectronic signatures and recordsUse and acceptance.

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(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.]



Definition"Electronic signature"Use of term.

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(1) Unless specifically provided otherwise by law or rule or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, whenever the term "signature" is used in this code for governmental affairs and is authorized by state or local agency ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy pursuant to RCW 19.360.020, the term includes an electronic signature as defined in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) "Electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.

NOTES:

Intent2016 c 95: See note following RCW 19.360.020.



Definition"Record"Use of term.

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(1) Unless specifically provided otherwise by law or rule or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, whenever the term "writing" is used in this code for governmental affairs and is authorized by state or local agency ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy pursuant to RCW 19.360.020, the term means a record.
(2) "Record," as used in subsection (1) of this section, means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form, except as otherwise defined for the purpose of state or local agency record retention, preservation, or disclosure.

NOTES:

Intent2016 c 95: See note following RCW 19.360.020.



Definition"Electronic"Use of term.

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(1) Unless specifically provided otherwise by law or rule or unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, whenever the term "mail" is used in this code and authorized by state or local agency ordinance, resolution, rule, or policy pursuant to RCW 19.360.020 to transmit a writing with a state or local agency, the term includes the use of mail delivered through an electronic system such as email or secure mail transfer if authorized by the state agency in rule.
(2) For the purposes of this section, "electronic" means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

NOTES:

Intent2016 c 95: See note following RCW 19.360.020.



Definitions"State agency" and "local agency."

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For purposes of RCW 19.360.020 through 19.360.050, "state agency" means any state board, commission, bureau, committee, department, institution, division, or tribunal in the executive branch of state government, including statewide elected offices and institutions of higher education created and supported by the state government. "Local agency" means every county, city, town, municipal corporation, quasi-municipal corporation, special purpose district, or other local public agency.

NOTES:

Intent2016 c 95: See note following RCW 19.360.020.