26 September 2023

Department to deliver digital documents

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The Attorney-General’s Department is to make it easier to complete legal documents digitally as it takes part in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s whole-of-Government Deregulation Agenda.

Attorney-General, Senator Michaelia Cash said that over the next 18 months her Department would work to improve digitising documents and develop practical resources to do more to apply the Electronic Transactions Act 1999.

“We want to make it simpler for individuals and businesses to complete legal documents,” Senator Cash said.

“It builds on our recent reforms, which allow Australians to digitally execute Commonwealth statutory declarations,” she said.

“This is another step towards a common, consistent approach to document execution, and is important for boosting productivity and competitiveness and providing further options for business.”

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Ben Morton said funding had been allocated to the project to ensure Government kept pace with how Australians wanted to communicate with each other when doing business.

“The 18-month implementation project builds on last year’s consultation on modernising business communications, which focused on improving the technology neutrality of Treasury portfolio laws to ensure they do not restrict the use of current and future technologies,” Mr Morton said.

“Temporary changes have already been made to the law to allow for the electronic execution of Commonwealth statutory declarations,” he said.

Mr Morton said this would enable people to use an electronic signature and have their statutory declaration witnessed using audio-visual technology.

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