State agencies can use the information in this toolkit to assist in their e-Signature planning and implementation efforts.
The transition to electronic signatures (e-Signatures) is a DGS initiative to improve government efficiency. E-Signatures are a major part of state modernization efforts and will create efficiencies by allowing electronic signatures in automated workflows, reducing the need for paper and the time and effort required for various approval processes.
DGS has had two significant efforts related to e-Signature adoption. The first was e-Signature for acquisitions (see case study below) and second is the statewide adoption of e-Signatures for forms.
In December 2020, under the authority of the Statewide Forms Program, the Department of General Services (DGS) released Management Memo (MM) 20-07 to require the use of e-Signatures on state forms. MM 20-07 requires all forms accept e-Signatures. The scope of this program includes over 4,000 standard and agency forms.
The policy and supporting documentation were built after consultation with various subject matter experts and form owners including Forms Management, Information Security, Information Technology, and Legal. Additionally, DGS collaborated with stakeholders throughout the state including the State Controller’s Office, GovOps Agency, Department of Technology, General Services Workgroup, and others to ensure the success of the e-Signature initiative.
How do you get started on your agency or departmental e-Signature program?
Below is a toolkit with resources and guidance to assist agencies implement e-Signature within their agency.
The following is an example e-Signature implementation approach. Example resources are available in the Resources section below.
- Develop an internal policy in accordance with Management Memo 20-07.
- Create a roles and responsibilities matrix for your agency's e-Signature program.
- Gather business requirements and develop a business process map and procedure for your e-Signature workflows.
- Develop security procedures.
- Select an e-Signature solution that best fits business, security, and legal requirements. Some basic and enhanced e-Signature options can be found in the e-Signature Options Table.
When modifying a standard (STD) form for e-Signature, ensure you request approval for any modifications or alternate form formats from the Forms Management Center (FMC) using the FMC 98 Modified STD Form Use Request.
The following are example resources to use when implementing electronic signatures:
- DGS E-Signature Internal Departmental Policy
- E-Signature Quick Start Guide
- E-Signature Solution Options Table: Compare e-Signature options by document type, tool recommended and how to apply the signature as described by commonly used vendors.
- E-Signature Solution Roles and Responsibility Matrix (SAMPLE)
- Information Security Office e-Signature Procedures (SAMPLE)
- E-Signature FAQs
- Procurement options for enhanced e-Signature solutions can be found on the CDT Vendor Subscription Site or software licensing program (SLP).
The following instructional videos provide the step by step process for downloading, opening and applying an e-Signature to standard (STD) forms.
The following are instructional "How to" videos for commonly used e-Signature vendors.
In 2019, DGS won the NASCA Innovations in State Government Award for E-Signature for Acquisitions.
- View the winning submission to learn about the innovation, transferability, and efficiencies created: E-Signature for Acquisitions submission
- View the DGS Director’s Award Acceptance video: DGS NASCA Award Acceptance
Statewide Forms Manager
Department of General Services
West Sacramento, CA 95605