Earlier this month, on December 5, 2018, the 21st Century IDEA (Act) passed in the US House of Representative and December 12, 2018 it passed the Senate. On the 20th of December 2018, the President of the United States signed the “21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act” or the “21st Century IDEA” bill into law. We discussed this in a blog article speculating what it means and its impact on business. The passage of this bill is a tremendous milestone particularly for the electronic signature and digital transaction management industry and represents rather progressive “forward” thinking of our country’s leaders. The law addresses issues with regard to:
- Website Modernization
- Digitization of Government Services and Forms
- Plan to Increase use of Electronic Signatures within Federal Agencies
- Improving Customer Experience and Digital Services Delivery
With this new legislation, the ability to conduct all of your government business via digital technology is closer than ever before. 21st Century IDEA, will position the US Government to be a fully digital public sector operation, potentially in the next few years.
The goal of the 21st Century IDEA legislation is to enhance the digital services within the federal government. Accelerating the federal government’s ability to improve digital service delivery and customer experience. The 21st Century IDEA will:
- Enhance federal agency websites, making them mobile friendly, and establishing minimum standards.
- Transition from paper-based forms to electronic transactions.
- Decrease federal costs, saving taxpayers money.
- Increase efficiency and productivity of federal employees.
- Promote the use of electronic signatures standards established via the eSign Act.
- Reinforce the validity of electronic signatures.
- Decrease use of paper, and potentially decrease human error by digitizing processes.
We think there are two areas of significant impact that beg to be called out here.
Workflow Automation and Business Process Optimization
With the passage of this bill, there will be even greater emphasis on enhancing business process optimization and using workflow automation. The digitization will create opportunity to revisit how we run our operations, how we handle approvals, how we manage storage and tracking of information, how we handle inquiries and how we provide service to the constituents in the front office and how we handle everything else in the back office. Electronic signature is just one part of the complete Digital Transaction Management system which will be a core enabling technology. An added benefit of going digital is the business savings of time, cost and efficiency. Check out our blog article of complete business impact of going digital.
Environmental Benefits of 21st Century IDEA
Imagine what the approximately 800,000 federal employees do every day. Add millions of State and local government employees to this list and then add all the millions of private companies that interact and do business with all the government agencies and programs. Now imagine how much paper is used every day, printers, ink, and storing of those files and documents. On average about 3 Gallons of water is required to produce one page of copy paper, 1.5 Gallons if recycled water is used. The magnitude of positive impact on the environment is tremendous. Water, trees, and Carbon footprint. Checkout ZorroSign’s Environmental Savings Calculator (a part of its Paperless Life initiative) to estimate the environmental impact this law will have.
Checkout our complete review of the environmental impact of going digital in this blog article.
ZorroSign is excited for the 21st Century IDEA to be implemented so we can start to see the digital transformation within the government. This marks a fundamental shift in Government to consumer customer experience. ZorroSign would like to thank and recognize all of the cosponsors of this legislation for a bipartisan job well done: Rep. Ratcliffe, John [R-TX-4], Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2], Rep. Russell, Steve [R-OK-5], Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11], Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [R-WA-5], Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8], Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-8], Rep. Raskin, Jamie [D-MD-8], Rep. Costello, Ryan A. [R-PA-6], Rep. Watson Coleman, Bonnie [D-NJ-12], Rep. Hunter, Duncan D. [R-CA-50], Rep. Lawrence, Brenda L. [D-MI-14], Rep. Comstock, Barbara [R-VA-10], Rep. Eshoo, Anna G. [D-CA-18], Rep. Curtis, John R. [R-UT-3], Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15], Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21], Rep. Walker, Mark [R-NC-6], Rep. Ross, Dennis A. [R-FL-15], Rep. Faso, John J. [R-NY-19]. Read the entire bill here.
ZorroSign is the pioneer of the electronic signature technology which was instrumental in passage of the eSign Act in June of 2000. President Clinton also signed the bill into law using the technology invented by one of ZorroSign’s co-founders. That is a matter of pride for our team. ZorroSign not only uses the real true electronic code to sign documents it is also an enterprise-grade Digital Transaction Management platform built from the ground up using Blockchain with security and privacy at the core of its philosophy and design. With ZorroSign There is the added benefit of its proprietary document tampering and signature forgery detection system. With ZorroSign, documents are not only signed with real electronic signature, use of biometrics, and full automation, the Government can also ensure, verify and validate the sanctity of electronically signed digital documents for the life of the document.
ZorroSign is idiosyncratically poised to aid executive agency leaders to convey their proposal to the OMB and Congress and federal agencies in order to meet their 180-day requirement to demonstrate how their agency will increase the use of electronic signatures.
ZorroSign looks forward to using our industry and subject matter experts to help executive agencies identify their plans to meet the June 2019 deadline to submit their plan on accelerating the use of electronic signatures within their agencies. For consultative discussion, federal agencies can email Marketing@ZorroSign.com or call 1-855-ZORROSN (967-7676) for immediate assistance.