Electronic Signatures in Government and the Public Sector: E-Sign Supplying Electronic Signatures on G-Cloud Digital Marketplace

Posted 22nd July 2020

Governmental bodies are now realising what E-Sign has known for years: traditional, ‘wet’ signatures are inefficient, unproductive, and outdated.  Coronavirus has shown a definitive need for the effective digitalisation, and modernisation, of government documentation processes. When face-to-face meetings with legal representatives are restricted, and access to printing and scanning facilities are limited, handwritten signatures are no longer a viable option for most industries, particularly those of a time sensitive nature. The likes of HM Land Registry have already re-assessed their electronic signature policy in the wake of coronavirus and will now accept witnessed electronic signatures and unwitnessed Qualified Electronic Signatures. With this new appreciation for the ease and effectiveness of electronic signatures in a post-coronavirus world, E-Sign is poised to supply compliant, secure, and convenient electronic signature solutions to the UK Government and public sector.

 

Ready to Support Governmental Bodies

As an accredited UK government supplier and registered ICO data processor, E-Sign is qualified to supply electronic signatures to Government departments, local authorities, non-profit organisations, police forces, devolved administrators and wider public sector bodies looking to digitalise their document signing processes.

We’ve been an approved supplier on the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace for several years, an online platform for public sector organisations looking to purchase digital services from a pre-approved pool of suppliers. Suppliers listed on G-Cloud must be fully vetted to ensure they’re a credible and reliable provider- and suitable to provide solutions to the public sector. The framework for G-Cloud was established through the Official Journal of the European Community (OJEU) under the Open Procedure and are fully compliant with The Public Contracts Regulations 2006.

Using the G-Cloud Digital Marketplace, public sector and Government organisations can go directly to a list of credible suppliers, rather than going through a lengthy tender process, helping to save time, money and improve productivity and efficiency for the already overstretched and often underfunded public services.

 

The Benefits of G-Cloud

  • Take advantage of new technologies and access the best ICT services and solutions available.
  • Encourage dynamic, responsive procurement and save time on traditional methods – the open procurement for each of the G-Cloud frameworks has already been done.
  • Meet environmental and sustainability targets.
  • Deliver ICT systems that are responsive to changing demands, policies, and strategies – delivering value for money and up to date solutions.
  • Reduce costs through buying solutions as a service or based on usage, to meet your resource requirements.
  • Save money on maintenance and physical storage.
  • Easily compare and benchmark suppliers based on your desired characteristics and price with greater transparency.
  • Access ‘ready to use hybrid cloud’ solutions that are pre-assured for security, performance, and service management.

 

Legality of E-Sign’s Electronic Signatures

Electronic signatures have been legally acceptable in the UK since 2000 with the introduction of the Electronic Communication Act. Since July 2016, electronic signatures have also been eIDAS compliant, aligning the UK under the framework for secure electronic identification and verification across Europe. What’s more, the Law Commission recently confirmed that electronic signatures can be used to execute documents and can be witnessed in the same manner as traditional ‘wet’ handwritten signatures.  Previously, Governmental bodies such as the HM Land Registry did not accept electronically signed documents due to the lack of “control of the means of execution used for documents that must be registered”.  With the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting the need for effective digitalisation, more Government departments are now looking for a viable electronic signature to modernise their document signing processes.

 

How could E-Sign help?

As an accredited UK government supplier and registered ICO data processor, E-Sign are perfectly positioned to provide secure and compliant electronic signatures for public sector use. E-Sign is a trusted electronic signature provider and has a wealth of experience in successfully deploying electronic signature solutions across a variety of sectors, including a Top 100 Law firm. With our electronic signature solutions, businesses can achieve substantial financial savings, increase company productivity by significantly reducing time spent on administrative tasks and reduce turnaround times on document signing. E-Sign’s electronic signatures can bring a plethora of business benefits to Government and public sector organisations without compromising security and legality, helping to streamline current processes for significantly improved efficiency.

Given the potential for significant financial savings and streamlined processes, Governmental bodies and public sectors services stand to benefit considerably from digitalisation. With the public sector finding itself increasingly overstretched and underfunded, electronic signatures could help save money on printing, scanning, and posting, whilst boosting productivity and allowing funds to be reallocated in areas where they’re needed most.

E-Sign’s electronic signatures can be used in the following cases:

  • E-procurement and e-tendering
  • Project management forms
  • HR and personnel forms
  • Departmental agreements
  • Payroll and finance processes
  • Procurement contracts and vendor agreements
  • Task and action order forms
  • Licencing and permits for citizens and businesses
  • Purchase and expense request forms
  • Permitting processes

 

Secure and Compliant Signatures

E-Sign’s electronic signature solutions are secure and compliant, adhering to the following legal requirements:

  • They are uniquely linked to and capable of identifying the signatory
  • They are created in a way that allows the signatory to retain control
  • They are linked to the document in a way that any subsequent change of the data is detectable

 

E-Sign employs world-class security (ISO 27001 compliant) within its advanced electronic signature solution, offering secure email and secure document storage as standard, making our electronic signatures solutions fully GDPR compliant.

All interactions within the E-Sign platform and website are 100% secure via 256bit SSL encryption, so your data is protected and safe from hackers.

Any government documents completed within E-Sign are tamper-proof and deemed as legally binding contract terms in a court of law.

 

Identity Verification and 100% Traceability

What makes E-Sign so secure and reliable is the ability to verify and trace the identity of the signatory.  Each signed document comes with a Digital Signature Certificate, complete with an audit trail, unique digital fingerprint, and digital identification. Alongside this, the IP address is recorded, and the signed document is time and date stamped for additional verification.

Our verification and traceability include:

  • Digital Signature Certificate
  • IP address recorded
  • QR code unique to individual & document
  • Unique digital fingerprint generated with each new signature
  • Full audit trail

 

When it comes to identity verification, our electronic signature solution has an embedded iD checker and real time ID verification. We check passports and/or driving licences to ensure the signatory’s identity is properly verified. When you create an account and digital signature with E-Sign, your personal details are screened against a host of positive and negative datasets from a global ID database to verify your identity, minimising the risk of fraud. We do this by checking the following information:

  • 1) UK and International passports
  • 2) GB Driving Licences
  •  3) Mortality register
  •  4) UK credit header
  •  5) Age
  • 6) Address checks

This is for peace of mind that our platform is secure, reliable and compliant and that our signatures are 100% traceable and legally binding in the eyes of the law.

When Government departments, local authorities, not-for-profit organisations, police forces, devolved administrators and wider public sector bodies opt for E-Sign’s electronic signatures via G-Cloud, you can rest assured that our solutions are fully vetted, tried & tested, and compliant with the eIDAS, ESIGN ACT 2000, and the Electronic Communication Act.

 

E-Sign is a leading provider of electronic signature solutions supplying professional Electronic Signatures, Form Builder, Web Form, ID Checker and Personalised Email solutions to businesses across the UK.

To find out more about our E-Sign solutions and how they could transform your business, give us a call today on (+44) 0330 057 3001 or email us at info@e-sign.co.uk

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