Electronic Frontiers Georgia

1. Tysinger  41st         2. Egan  40th              3. Oliver  42nd

SB 103                                          LC 11 9215S/2
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
                               AN ACT
 1  To amend Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
 2  relating to commerce and trade, so as to enact the "Georgia
 3  Electronic Records and Signatures Act"; to provide for a
 4  short title; to provide for legislative construction and
 5  definitions; to authorize the use of electronic records and
 6  electronic signatures instead of written ones and provide
 7  for the legal effect of such usage; to amend Code Section
 8  50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating
 9  to exceptions to the disclosure of public records, so as to
10  include certain information relating to electronic
11  signatures in the exceptions; to amend Chapter 29 of Title
12  50 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the
13  "Information Technology Policy Act of 1995," so as to
14  provide for legislative intent; to provide for authority for
15  encouraging the conduct of governmental and private sector
16  business using electronic media and provide for powers and
17  duties of the Georgia Information Technology Policy Council;
18  to provide for pilot projects; to provide for the Electronic
19  Commerce Study Committee and its membership, allowances,
20  duties, and powers; to provide for an effective date; to
21  repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
23                           SECTION 1.
24  Title 10 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating
25  to commerce and trade, is amended by adding at the end a new
26  chapter to read as follows:
27                          "CHAPTER 12
28    10-12-1.
29    This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
30    'Georgia Electronic Records and Signatures Act.'
                                               LC 11 9215S/2
 1    10-12-2.
 2    The provisions of this chapter shall be construed to
 3    promote the development of electronic government and
 4    electronic commerce.
 5    10-12-3.
 6    As used in this chapter the term:
 7      (1) 'Electronic signature' means an electronic or
 8      digital method executed or adopted by a party with the
 9      intent to be bound by or to authenticate a record, which
10      is unique to the person using it, is capable of
11      verification, is under the sole control of the person
12      using it, and is linked to data in such a manner that if
13      the data are changed the electronic signature is
14      invalidated.
15      (2) 'Record' means information that is inscribed on a
16      tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or
17      other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
18      'Record' includes both electronic records and printed,
19      typewritten, and tangible records.
20    10-12-4.
21    Any person or entity, including but not limited to any
22    department or agency of the state or any of its political
23    subdivisions, may, but shall not be required to, accept or
24    agree to be bound by an electronic record executed or
25    adopted with an electronic signature.  Where a person or
26    other entity accepts or agrees to be bound by an
27    electronic record executed or adopted with an electronic
28    signature, then:
29      (1) Any rule of law which requires a record of that type
30      to be in writing shall be deemed satisfied; and
31      (2) Any rule of law which requires a signature shall be
32      deemed satisfied."
33                           SECTION 2.
34  Code Section 50-18-72 of the Official Code of Georgia
35  Annotated, relating to exceptions to the disclosure of
36  public records, is amended by striking "or" at the end of
37  paragraph (10) of subsection (a) thereof, striking the
38  period at the end of paragraph (11) of said subsection and
39  inserting "; or", and adding immediately thereafter the
40  following:
                                               LC 11 9215S/2
 1      "(12) Public records containing information that would
 2      disclose or might lead to the disclosure of any
 3      component in the process used to execute or adopt an
 4      electronic signature, if such disclosure would or might
 5      cause the electronic signature to cease being under the
 6      sole control of the person using it.  For purposes of
 7      this paragraph, the term 'electronic signature' has the
 8      same meaning as that term is defined in Code Section
 9      10-12-3."
10                           SECTION 3.
11  Chapter 29 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia
12  Annotated, the "Information Technology Policy Act of 1995,"
13  is amended by adding at the end a new Code section to read
14  as follows:
15    "50-29-12.
16    (a) The General Assembly desires to promote economic
17    development and efficient delivery of government services
18    by encouraging state governmental agencies and private
19    sector entities to conduct their business and transactions
20    using electronic media.
21    (b) All state agencies, authorities, and boards are
22    authorized to establish pilot projects, which are to serve
23    as models for the application of technology such as
24    electronic signatures, through public and private
25    partnerships with private companies providing such
26    technology related services.  Such pilot projects shall be
27    approved by the Georgia Information Technology Policy
28    Council.  Such projects shall consider both commercial and
29    government applications, be inclusive of major categories
30    of electronic signature technology, and be established
31    through a request for proposal process.  The pilot
32    projects are intended to provide a proof of concept for
33    the application of technology, such as electronic
34    signatures, and to serve to educate the General Assembly
35    and the public at large as to the benefits of electronic
36    signatures as well as the role of state government in any
37    future regulatory capacity.  One such pilot project may
38    involve digital signatures and the use of a public key
39    infrastructure established by a service provider.  Any
40    private partner chosen for these pilot projects may
41    establish user fees to pay for the cost of these services
42    so that no state funds would be required.
                                               LC 11 9215S/2
 1    (c) State agencies establishing pilot projects shall
 2    submit quarterly progress reports on such projects to the
 3    Georgia Information Technology Policy Council, and the
 4    council shall then submit such reports to the Electronic
 5    Commerce Study Committee.  The council shall monitor the
 6    success of such pilot projects and provide technical
 7    assistance to the extent that resources of the council are
 8    available.
 9    (d) There is created the Electronic Commerce Study
10    Committee to be composed of 12 members.  The committee
11    shall study the issues relating to electronic records and
12    signatures.  The President of the Senate shall appoint
13    five members to the committee, three of whom shall be
14    members of the Senate and two of whom shall be citizen
15    members with recognized interest and expertise in
16    electronic commerce.  The Speaker of the House of
17    Representatives shall appoint five members to the
18    committee, three of whom shall be members of such House
19    and two of whom shall be citizen members with recognized
20    interest and expertise in electronic commerce.  The
21    President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of
22    Representatives shall also each designate from among their
23    legislator appointees one cochair of the committee.  The
24    Georgia Information Technology Policy Council shall
25    appoint one member to the committee.  The Secretary of
26    State shall appoint one member to the committee.  The
27    committee, upon the call of either cochair, is authorized
28    to conduct meetings at such places and at such times as it
29    considers expedient and to do all other things which are
30    necessary or convenient to enable it to fully and
31    adequately exercise its powers, perform its duties, and
32    accomplish its objectives and purposes.  Legislative
33    members and citizen members shall receive the allowances
34    authorized by law for members of interim legislative
35    committees for their services on the committee but shall
36    receive the same for not more than five days.  Members of
37    the committee who are state officials, other than
38    legislative members, and state employees shall receive no
39    compensation for their services on the committee, but they
40    shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred by them in the
41    performance of their duties as members of the committee.
42    The funds necessary for the reimbursement of the expenses
43    of state officials, other than legislative members, and
44    state employees shall come from funds appropriated to or
45    otherwise available to their respective departments.  All
                                               LC 11 9215S/2
 1    other funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this
 2    subsection shall come from the funds appropriated to or
 3    otherwise available to the Senate and House of
 4    Representatives.  If the committee makes a report of its
 5    findings and recommendations, with suggestions for
 6    proposed legislation, if any, such report shall be made on
 7    or before December 15, 1997.  The committee shall stand
 8    abolished December 15, 1997."
 9                           SECTION 4.
10  This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the
11  Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.
12                           SECTION 5.
13  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are
14  repealed.


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