Establishing an Official Electronic Signature
08:24:00 Establishing an Official Electronic Signature
A. Introduction: In accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated § 47-10-101,
Tennessee Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, Tennessee Board Regents Guideline B-095 and other TBR and state guidelines, including TBR purchasing and contracts guidance, Chattanooga State Community College is required to have a policy providing guidance on required steps to use electronic signatures so they can be considered as legally binding as a written signature. For specific actions necessary to meet the requirements, review TBR Guideline B-095, Use of Electronic Signatures and Records. This guideline applies to all Chattanooga State staff, faculty and all forms of electronic signatures and electronic records used to conduct the official business of Chattanooga State. Such business shall include, but is not limited to, electronic communications, transactions, procurements, contracts, grant applications, and other official purposes. This guideline establishes when an electronic signature may replace a written signature and when an electronic record may replace a paper document in official activities of Chattanooga State.
B. TBR has implemented DocuSign as its paperless workflow solution for routing documents for approval. DocuSign is a secure and digital solution that is reliable and globally trusted service for electronic signatures and approvals.
1. Electronic signature - is defined as an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. An electronic signature must be attributable (or traceable) to a person who has the intent to sign the record with the use of adequate security and authentication measures. These measures that are contained in the method of capturing the electronic transaction, (e.g., use of personal identification number or personal log-in identification username and password), and the recipient of the transaction must be able to permanently retain an electronic record of the transaction at the time of receipt. Approved electronic signature method - is one in accordance with this guideline and applicable state and federal laws, and which specifies the form of the electronic signature, the systems and procedures used with the electronic signature, and the significance of the use of the electronic signature.
2. Electronic record - is defined as any record created, used, or stored in a medium other than paper, such as: information processing systems, computer equipment and programs, electronic data interchange, e mail, voice mail, text messages, information in PDAs and similar technologies. To the extent that facsimile and hard copy documents are retained in electronic form, through a scanning process, they are also considered electronic records.
3. Approval authority - for purposes of this guideline, shall mean the President of Chattanooga State, the vice presidents or designees as identified. An electronic signature created with the use of public key infrastructure (PKI) or the Chattanooga State vice president of Technology must approve any method that permanently encrypts a record.
D. To establish an official electronic signature and have it be legally enforceable,
an electronic signature must be mutual agreement by the parties - the originator and the receiver of the final document. This policy applies only to transactions between parties each of which has agreed to conduct transactions by electronic means and be attributable (or traceable) to a person who has the intent to sign the record or contract with the use of adequate security and authentication measures that are contained in username and password. TBR has determined paperless workflow forms that can be used by Chattanooga State. These forms are located at https://www.tbr.edu/purchasing/paperless-workflow-forms. Other forms/documents can be added with appropriate agreements between parties.
E. The signing of a record using an approved electronic signature method does not mean that the record has been signed by a person authorized to sign or approve that record. Appropriate procedures must be used to confirm that the person signing the record has the appropriate authority and intent to sign the record.
1. Each organization at Chattanooga State is responsible for providing Technology a list of individuals that have authority to use electronic signatures and for specific forms; these authorized individuals are approved to use electronic signatures. Review TBR B-95 Use of Electronic Signatures and Records, Section V Rules and Procedures for specific information.
2. An approved electronic signature method may limit the use of that method to particular electronic records, particular classes of electronic records or particular Chattanooga State institutional departments. An electronic signature used outside of its defined parameters will not be considered valid by Chattanooga State.
F. If parties have agreed to conduct a transaction by electronic means and a law requires a person to provide, send, or deliver a signed document to another person, the requirement is satisfied if the information is provided, sent, or delivered, as the case may be, in an electronic record capable of retention by the recipient at the time of receipt. An electronic record is not capable of retention by the recipient if the sender or its information processing system inhibits the ability of the recipient to retain the electronic record containing the signature.
G.The final approval of any electronic signature document will be made by Executive Committee or designees. At Chattanooga State, the committee could be comprised of various members, including the Technology vice president, Business and Finance vice president, Student Affairs vice president and the Internal Auditor, or their designees. Guidance would then be provided to the President's Cabinet to determine and approve an electronic signature document. Consideration will be given to the systems and procedures associated with using the electronic signature and the security of the electronic signature.
- Tennessee Code Annotated § 10-7-101, et.seq. - Tennessee Public Records Act
- Tennessee Code Annotated § 47-10-101, et.seq. - Tennessee Uniform Electronic Transactions Act
- State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Strategic Technology Solutions 2:01, 12/15/2016
- Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Password Management G-051, 9/26/2014
- Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Policy G-052 Access Control, 9/26/2014
- Tennessee Board of Regents Guideline G-070 - Disposal of Records-RDA 2161, 5/16/2017
- Tennessee Board of Regents Guideline B-095 - Use of Electronic Signatures and Records, 8/19/2009
- Tennessee Board of Regents Guideline Policy 1:08:00:00 - Information Technology Resources, 9/26/2014
- Tennessee Board of Regents Contracts/Purchasing Order Processing
- Chattanooga State IT Policy 08:14:00 Information Technology Responsible Use, 5/30/2017
Dr. Rebecca Ashford, President October 24, 2017
Signature Date Approved
Division Name: Technology Division
Policy Number and Title: 08:24:00 Establishing an Official Electronic Signature.
- Reformatted the whole policy to new format.
- All pages - Information Technology Services was changed to new division name - Technology.
- Section B, was added:
TBR has implemented DocuSign as its paperless workflow solution for routing documents for approval. DocuSign is a secure and digital solution that is reliable and globally trusted service for electronic signatures and approvals.
- Section D, replaced section 5 and the following was added:
To establish an official electronic signature and have it be legally enforceable,
an electronic signature must be mutual agreement by the parties - the originator and the receiver of the final document.
TBR has determined paperless workflow forms that can be used by Chattanooga State. These forms can be found at https://www.tbr.edu/purchasing/paperless-workflow-forms. Other forms and documents can be added with appropriate agreements between parties.
- Section E, replaced section 7 and the following was added:
Each organization at Chattanooga State are responsible for providing Technology division a list of individuals that have authority to use electronic signatures and what these authorized individuals are approved to use electronic signatures for.
Dr. Rebecca Ashford, President October 24, 2017
Signature Date Approved