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.

  1. Develop an internal policy in accordance with Management Memo 20-07.
  2. Create a roles and responsibilities matrix for your agency's e-Signature program.  
  3. Gather business requirements and develop a business process map and procedure for your e-Signature workflows.  
  4. Develop security procedures.
  5. 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:

In 2019, DGS won the NASCA Innovations in State Government Award for E-Signature for Acquisitions.

Statewide Forms Manager

Stephanie Ross

Department of General Services
Administration Division

707 3rd Street
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Email: Stephanie.Ross@dgs.ca.gov