Celebrating Innovation in Government Services on National ESIGN Day

Woman working on a tablet device out in the field

Today is National ESIGN Day in the U.S. This marks the 23rd anniversary of the day when President Bill Clinton signed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act, which recognized electronic signatures as legally valid. Back in 2000, that was a radical idea. Since then, e-signature has changed the way we live, work and make agreements.

Now we’re at the start of another big advance, as agreements themselves are being transformed by artificial intelligence. This is happening just as massive technological change is coming to the federal government, to improve the lives of the public with online service delivery. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is expected this summer to issue guidance that will help accelerate digital transformation across government agencies.

The guidance aims to help agencies implement the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) by modernizing their websites, shifting from paper forms to digital and embracing e-signature technology—basically, creating the kind of user-friendly digital experiences that we have come to expect elsewhere thanks to modern apps and online services.

The government has made a lot of progress already. Docusign has helped more than 5,000 government agencies adopt electronic signatures, enabling them to reduce spending on printing, paper and storage by 87%. Some agencies also have deployed Docusign CLM, workflow and identity verification products to make government service delivery faster and easier. All 15 federal cabinet agencies use Docusign, which has improved their constituent experience by 35%. As with the private sector, the pandemic accelerated technology adoption in government agencies.

There’s a better way to do business in government

The opportunity to continue innovating in the public sector is immense. According to data published by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, paperwork costs the government $38.7 billion and the public $117 billion each year. The public spends 10.5 billion hours annually filling out government paperwork, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We estimate there is a $16.7 billion in potential value to the federal government by digitally transforming every agency’s forms and agreement processes.

Docusign’s mission is to redefine how the world comes together and agrees - and this means helping our government partners deliver exceptional public services online.  Replacing paper with digital forms and electronic signature is the first step. But we’re also paving the way for the next wave of innovation in which agreements themselves will be transformed thanks to AI.

To use a simple analogy, think of the difference between a paper map and Google Maps. The paper map is a static document that you fold up and put in your glove box. Google Maps is dynamic, intelligent software that can adapt and respond, navigate your route, anticipate traffic jams and even deliver immersive experiences.

That’s the kind of leap that is coming to agreements. Instead of paper documents and static PDFs, applications, contracts, forms and other documents will be made of software that can analyze, bring insights and make recommendations for action. Unlocking data and applying agreement intelligence enables the creation of dynamic, automated workflows that remove friction and make business move faster.

AI-powered agreements are not far off. In fact, Docusign is already using AI to quickly summarize complex agreements and to enable remote ID verification using computer vision.

The world has come a long way in the past 23 years. As we celebrate National ESIGN Day this year, we’re excited about the even bigger leaps that are coming in the years ahead. We’re thrilled to see federal technology leaders ramping up their commitment to innovation and transformation. And we’re excited to help federal, state and local government agencies better serve their constituents by providing a modern digital experience with smarter, easier and more trusted agreements.

Learn more about Docusign for Government.

Erica Fensom
Vice President, Corporate Affairs