By Reggie Davis, General Counsel, DocuSign
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (21st Century IDEA), a bill that would reduce taxpayer costs, increase efficiency, and improve citizens’ digital experiences by making federal websites more user-friendly, digitizing agency forms, and promoting electronic signatures.
DocuSign strongly supports this legislation and urges the Senate to swiftly pass the 21st Century IDEA so that it can be signed into law this year.
The 21st Century IDEA would require in part that federal agencies:
- Offer mobile-friendly digital options for all paper-based forms.
- Accelerate the use of electronic signatures.
- Make customer experience a priority in the federal IT strategy.
DocuSign applauds bipartisan bill sponsors Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-TX), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In addition, we salute the 18 bipartisan House co-sponsors, as well as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which advanced this bill unanimously out of committee.
As provider of the world’s #1 e-signature solution, part of its broader System of Agreement Platform, DocuSign shares the 21st Century IDEA’s goals of improving the experience for millions of citizens and federal staff while dramatically reducing the cost of government operations.
The cost savings alone make 21st Century IDEA worthwhile. With more than 20,000 forms across the federal government, many of which are not electronic or only available as a downloadable PDF, 21st Century IDEA would save hundreds of millions of dollars in direct printing and postage costs. Perhaps more importantly, it would eliminate countless outdated business processes that do not add value, enabling federal agencies to spend more time on their core mission and less time chasing paper.
A Senate committee has already cleared 21st Century IDEA with identical language to the now-passed House bill, averting any need for reconciliation later. The tech industry is well on board, with support from key trade groups including the Software Alliance, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Electronic Signature and Records Association, and the Software & Information Industry Association.
With all these pieces in place, 21st Century IDEA has a visible pathway to final passage, but time is running out before the 115th Congress adjourns in mid-December. If the bill is not passed by then, the incoming Congress would need to start the process anew in 2019.
DocuSign wholeheartedly endorses this valuable legislation and hopes the Senate seizes this bipartisan opportunity this year to improve the digital experience for millions of citizens.