2.8 Government Paperwork Elimination Act (1998)
The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) seeks to "preclude agencies or courts from systematically treating electronic documents and signatures less favorably than their paper counterparts", so that citizens can interact with the Federal government electronically (S. Rep. 105-335). (OMB. Implementation of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act) It requires Federal agencies, by October 21, 2003, to provide individuals or entities that deal with agencies the option to submit information or transact with the agency electronically, and to maintain records electronically, when practicable. It also addresses the matter of private employers being able to use electronic means to store, and file with Federal agencies, information pertaining to their employees. GPEA states that electronic records and their related electronic signatures are not to be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability merely because they are in electronic form. It also encourages Federal government use of a range of electronic signature alternatives.