Substitute House Bill No. 6592

Public Act No. 99-155

An Act Concerning Electronic Records and Signatures.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) As used in sections 1 to 6, inclusive, of this act:

(1) "Electronic" means of or relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, analog or electromagnetic technology or other similar capabilities.

(2) "Electronic record" means a record created, stored, generated, received or communicated by electronic means.

(3) "Electronic signature" means any signature in electronic form, attached to or logically associated with an electronic record.

(4) "Governmental record" means any record relating to the conduct of the public's business, that is created, owned, used, distributed, maintained or received by a state agency.

(5) "Information" means data, text, images, sounds, codes, computer programs, software or databases.

(6) "Person" means a natural person, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, association, society or state agency.

(7) "Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

(8) "Sign" means to execute or adopt a signature.

(9) "Signature" means an identifying symbol, sound or process of a record in whole or in part that is executed or adopted by a person as part of the record.

(10) "State agency" means an officer, department, board, council, commission, institution or other agency of the state government.

(11) "Writing" includes printing and any other intentional reduction of a record to tangible form.

Sec. 2. (NEW) Sections 1 to 6, inclusive, of this act shall not apply to a record described in section 45a-251 or 47-5 of the general statutes.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (a) A state agency may allow any governmental record that is created, owned, used, distributed or maintained by such agency to be in the form of an electronic record. A state agency may allow governmental records received by such agency and identified in regulations adopted by such agency pursuant to section 4 of this act to be in the form of electronic records.

(b) No governmental record described in subsection (a) of this section or authorized under any other provision of the general statutes to be in the form of an electronic record may be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because it is an electronic record.

(c) If a law requires or allows a governmental record described in subsection (a) of this section to be in writing, or provides consequences if it is not, an electronic record complies with such law.

(d) If a law requires a governmental record to be retained in its original form, or provides consequences if the record is not presented or retained in its original form, such requirement is met by an electronic record if the electronic record accurately reflects the information set forth in the record after it was first generated in its final form and the electronic record remains accessible for later reference.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (a) A state agency may allow any governmental record created, owned, used, distributed or maintained by such agency to be signed with an electronic signature. A state agency may allow governmental records received by such agency and identified in regulations adopted by such agency pursuant to section 5 of this act to be signed with an electronic signature.

(b) A state agency may certify an electronic signature as an original signature.

(c) No electronic signature authorized in subsection (a) of this section or under any other provision of the general statutes or certified under subsection (b) of this section may be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because it is an electronic signature.

(d) If a law requires or allows a signature on a governmental record to be in electronic form, or provides consequences in the absence of a signature on such a record, an electronic signature complies with such law.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (a) A state agency may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, governing:

(1) The state agency's creation, ownership, use, distribution, receipt and maintenance of governmental records, in accordance with sections 11-8 and 11-8a of the general statutes, in the form of electronic records;

(2) The conversion of written governmental records into electronic records; and

(3) If a governmental record may be electronically signed, the type of electronic signature required, and the manner and format in which the electronic signature may be affixed to the electronic record.

(b) Regulations adopted by a state agency relating to the use of electronic records or electronic signatures shall (1) encourage and promote consistency and interoperability with similar requirements adopted by other state agencies, and (2) ensure the integrity of the original information contained in electronic records.

Sec. 6. (NEW) Not later than July 1, 2000, and annually thereafter, each state agency in the executive branch shall submit a status report to the Chief Information Officer of the Department of Information Technology and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management on the progress of the state agency in implementing the provisions of sections 1 to 5, inclusive, of this act. Not later than September 1, 2000, and annually thereafter, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall prepare a summary of such reports and submit the summary to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration.

Approved June 23, 1999

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