Lawmakers want more e-signatures

A bipartisan trio of lawmakers wants to know why people can’t sign more federal government forms electronically.

Sens. Ron WydenRon WydenOvernight Tech: Bill blocking internet privacy rules heads to Trump's desk | Trump taps antitrust chief | Dems push FCC on cellphone cybersecurity Overnight Cybersecurity: First GOP lawmaker calls for Nunes to recuse himself | DHS misses cyber strategy deadline | Dems push for fix to cellphone security flaw Dem lawmakers push for FCC to tackle major cellphone security flaw MORE (D-Ore.), John McCainJohn McCainSenate braces for fallout over Supreme Court fight Republicans seek to lower odds of a shutdown Nunes endures another rough day MORE (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) wrote to Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny PritzkerDeVos should ‘persist’ despite liberal opposition Indiana teachers hold sit-in to demand Young recuse himself from DeVos vote Overnight Tech: Trump team eyes FCC overhaul | AT&T chief says no plans to spin off CNN in merger | Commerce pick heads to hearing MORE on Monday asking for an update on what the government is doing to get rid of wasteful and redundant paper signatures.

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“The acceptance of electronic documents has become a cornerstone of Internet commerce and is vital to our country’s economy,” they wrote. “We are concerned about the extent of the adoption of electronic signatures within the federal government.”

In 2000, the three lawmakers helped enact the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN) Act, which made electronic signatures legally similar to handwritten ones.

But federal government agencies have been slacking on the switch over to electronic forms, they said.

“Electronic signatures have reduced paper burdens for consumers and streamlined business operations throughout the United States, providing remarkable consumer gains in terms of convenience, ease of use, transaction speed and reduced costs,” Eshoo, McCain and Wyden wrote.

“We believe the federal government can experience similar benefits by expanding the use of electronic signatures to improve efficiency, productivity and accountability throughout the government.”

They asked for a status update from the Commerce Department to determine how well agencies are implementing electronic signatures and how to encourage more to get onboard.