Modernizing Agreements and Business Processes for Tribal Organizations

For decades, tribal nations have relied on PDF and paper agreements, contracts, and forms to conduct business and support tribal members. Whether it’s contracts at hotels and casinos, seasonal employee agreements, telehealth/healthcare, overall purchasing, or tribal council agendas and forms, virtually all run on manual paper processes. 

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tribal nations had to contend with mountains of paperwork that slowed down their ability to provide the best possible services to members and created massive operational inefficiencies. 

As the world has transitioned to remote work, organizations have realized the opportunity to modernize agreement processes to keep businesses and services operating in a safer and more efficient manner.

Helping tribal nations to go paperless

In June 2000, the ESIGN Act was passed, which recognized electronic signatures as a valid form of expression of assent that is equivalent to a written signature.

Today more than 1,300 federal, state ,local, and tribal government agencies in all 50 states use Docusign electronic signatures to process electronic forms, applications and manage correspondence. The adoption of electronic signatures became the foundation for government agencies to explore a more digital citizen experience. 

A digital experience in three steps

The first step is to find the right electronic signature provider that can set you up for greater success at every milestone down the road – and for greater efficiencies across your entire agreement process, not just at the moment of signing.

It’s best to choose a solution that tribal organization members and employees already know and trust to lower your cost of supporting adoption. Along the same lines, it’s best to choose a solution that easily integrates with your existing business applications.

The second step is to ensure that the e-signature provider can help prioritize modernization efforts for optimal efficiency and member experience. At a minimum, digitize paper-only forms, but the goal should be to make every form digitally fillable, signable and searchable from nearly any mobile device.

The third step is to modernize the tribal nation’s entire system of agreement. This includes all the people, processes and technologies involved in the entire agreement process – from preparing, negotiating and signing documents to acting on terms and managing completed agreements.

For tribal nations that interface with the federal government and federal data, it is also important to choose a partner that is FedRAMP authorized to meet today’s federal standards for data security.

Success at Chenega MIOS

There are a wide-range of tribal nations, as well as government contractors in the Small Business Administration (SBA) Native 8(a) program, that are leveraging Docusign for everything from contract management to employee vaccine attestation forms.

Chenega MIOS is a shared services division of Chenega Corporation, one of the most successful Alaska Native village corporations. They needed a solution that could rapidly enable the signing and managing of government contracts by its senior leadership. It also needed a streamlined employee vaccine attestation management and tracking solution.

The company is now using Docusign for both overall contract management and signing – integrating with its current BI software solution – as well as for tracking employee vaccination compliance.  

Watch this on demand webinar to learn more about digital workflows using the Docusign Agreement Cloud for tribal enterprises and government. 

CARES Act funding for Tribal Nations

With the CARES Act providing $8 billion in financial assistance to tribal governments, now is the ideal time to explore ways to modernize your entire system of agreement. In addition, with the federal fiscal calendar year starting on October 1st, tribal nations now have the opportunity to develop the plans and procurement strategies for modernizing and streamlining all agreements.

In addition, in October 2021, the U.S. Senate passed the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act (S. 3011), which includes a one-year extension of the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) deadline to allow Tribal governments additional time to use CARES CRF allocations.

Following are a number of Docusign use cases that can help tribal nations to best leverage these funds:

  • Applications for Cares Act funding 
  • Employee Vaccine Status and weekly testing
  • Teleworking agreements
  • Return-to-work agreements
  • Notarization for shareholder/tribal member agreements

As tribal nations continue to enhance their overall operations, the ability to modernize all agreements and business processes will help to further their missions of advancing the quality of life, and promoting economic opportunities, for all of their members.

Agreement Cloud Expert Series: eSignature for Tribal Organizations

Learn more about digital workflows using electronic signature and agreement technologies for tribal enterprises and government.
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