Taylah Allen, triSearch CEO, has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement to extend digital signature usage on documents until March 31, 2022, with expectations it will become permanent, pending further discussions later this year.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill 2021 passed both Houses on August 10. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced he expects the bill to become permanent after further talks.
“With the extension of this temporary relief, the Government will now seek to introduce permanent reforms later this year to give companies the flexibility to use technology to hold meetings, such as hybrid meetings, and sign and send documents,” Frydenberg said.
In the current extension, when a company is executing documents:
• persons may sign the document electronically;
• the fixing of the seal can be witnessed electronically;
• separate copies of the document may be used by each person required to execute the document; and
• the document may be executed by the sole director of a proprietary company that does not have a company secretary.
Allen believes this decision was essential for safe-practice of Conveyancing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the future modernisation of the industry, when the bill becomes permanent.
“Digital signatures are very quickly becoming the new normal for most transactions which do not require “wet ink”. Now, with the extension of digital signature usage, it is setting a clear example for how our industry can continue to proactively grow during the pandemic,” Allen said.
“Getting ahead of the curve, is something you should be focused on, especially in today’s everchanging world. With guaranteed speed, efficiency and security backed by a digital trail, your business could benefit greatly from electronic signatures if it is not already.”
Commenting on the bill, Frydenberg said: “These temporary relief measures will allow companies to hold virtual meetings and use electronic communications to send meeting materials and execute documents until 31 March 2022.
“This relief ensures that companies can meet their obligations as they continue to deal with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the renewed relief will give much-needed certainty to listed and unlisted companies that are expected to hold an annual general meeting later this year and early next year.”
With this bill, Conveyancers can continue utilising triSearch e-signature solution, triSign, a tool developed to execute documents faster and avoid the hassle of printing, scanning and posting. The process remains simple and secure due to triSearch’s partnership with industry expert, DocuSign.
In addition to triSign, triSearch offers a range of electronic strategies to keep you and your business safe, efficient, productive and to help bring you into the future of conveyancing.