The White House orders change from paper to electronic records Reply

It’s good news for the future of electronic records and for the environment. Last Friday, August 24th, the Obama administration issued a Memo ordering Federal Agencies to “eliminate paper and use electronic recordkeeping” in handling classified and unclassified records. Agencies must also prove “compliance with Federal Records Management Statutes and Regulations.”

In an attempt to promote higher transparency, efficiency, and accountability, as well as reduce costs, Agencies have until 2019, or less than seven years to ensue the necessary technology and process transformations. Email records will need to be managed in a system that supports litigation requirements and has the ability to “identify, retrieve, and retain the records for as long as they are needed.” In addition, proper training needs to be provided to records management employees.

This is no easy task given not only the costly technology investment that needs to be undertaken but also the need to better understand the applicability and flexibility around electronic records laws, which would enable the ease of implementations by each Agency.

To learn more about how organizations and the public can get involved in improving electronic records, register for the upcoming Electronic Signature and Records Association Annual Conference on November 14 and 15 in Washington DC or contact us at

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By Vitoriana Morais, ESRA Communications Director

The Electronic Signature and Records Association Provides e-Sign Guidance to the Internal Revenue Service Reply

June 20, 2012

Leadership from the Electronic Signature and Records Association (ESRA), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing electronic signature industry adopters and providers, provided an information session to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on May 10 that included valuable e-signature information such as best industry practices, IRS Use Cases, Authentication, and Legal Framework among others.

The two-hour session gave IRS leaders not only a comprehensive 360-view on how to effectively implement e-signature projects but was also an eye-opener in exposing the different types of risks and methods that should be taken into consideration.  ESRA panelists provided guidance on the implementation of electronic records for government agencies such as the IRS by reviewing criteria needed to select a process and sharing several real world examples.

Through this session and others it plans to have in the future, ESRA continues to educate the public by addressing specific questions that still trouble many government and private organizations such as what the law requires in terms of authentication standards.  And the best way to educate is to engage people in the conversation given that the law is silent on this issue, as explained by Ken Moyle, Chairman of ESRA.  Thus, because a signer’s authenticity is determined based on the facts and circumstances, “it is good business practice to prevent fraud and take care of data by ensuring the taxpayer’s privacy and authenticating the identity of the signer,” stated Michael Laurie, a board member of ESRA.

IRS thanked ESRA’s nine panelists for the time taken to present an invaluable wealth of knowledge in a session that was an enriching experience for many IRS employees including senior leaders.

By Vitoriana Morais, ESRA Communications Director