EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 00-32

EXECUTIVE ORDER MJF 00-32

Electronic Transactions, Records and Signatures In or Affecting Interstate or Foreign Commerce


WHEREAS, the One Hundred Sixth Congress enacted the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (hereafter "E-Sign"), signed into law on June 30, 2000, to facilitate the use of electronic records and signatures in interstate and/or foreign commerce;

WHEREAS, E-Sign impacts on existing state laws, rules, and regulations by declaring in Section 101(a) that, "notwithstanding any laws to the contrary," "with respect to any transaction in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce," "a signature, contract, or other record relating to such transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form," and "a contract relating to such transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation";

WHEREAS, the apparent intent of E-Sign is to eliminate barriers to the use of electronic signatures and records in interstate and/or foreign commercial transactions, and to preempt any state law, rule, and/or regulation affecting and/or related to commercial, consumer, and/or financial transactions in interstate or foreign commerce that is inconsistent with E-Sign's provisions;

WHEREAS, although E-Sign does not require "any person [including governmental agencies] to agree to use or accept electronic records or electronic signatures, other than a governmental agency with respect to a record other than a contract to which it is a party," when portions of E-Sign become effective October 1, 2000, it may preempt laws, rules, and/or regulations in Louisiana related to commercial, consumer, or financial transactions in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce that are inconsistent with its provisions; and

WHEREAS, as E-Sign recognizes certain exemptions from preemption, including an exemption for state laws, rules, and/or regulations which specify alternative procedures and/or requirements for the use and/or acceptance of electronic records and/or signatures to establish the legal effect, validity, or enforceability of contracts or other records that are consistent with E-Sign and "do not require or accord greater legal status or effect to the implementation or application of a specific technology or technical specification for performing the functions of creating, storing, generating, receiving, communicating, or authenticating electronic records or electronic signatures," the best interests of the state of Louisiana will be served by the commissioner of administration taking an active leadership role in the state of Louisiana's adaptation to E- Sign, including the evaluation of the state's laws, rules, and/or regulations for potential preemption and, if necessary, promulgating emergency temporary rules which are exempt from preemption by E-Sign that may be utilized in response to E-Sign by the various departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and offices of the executive branch of the state of Louisiana;

NOW THEREFORE, I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: Due to the potential complex and severe effects that may result from the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (hereafter "Act"), portions of which become effective October 1, 2000, the commissioner of administration is authorized and directed to take all action necessary to minimize the adverse effects of, and accommodate the executive branch of the state of Louisiana's adaption to, the Act. Accordingly, the duties of the commissioner of administration shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Analyzing the state of Louisiana's laws, rules, and/or regulations related to and/or affecting electronic signatures and electronic records and assessing their potential preemption by the Act;

2. If deemed necessary due to the provisions of the Act, adopting and promulgating emergency temporary rules that are consistent with the requirements of, and would not be preempted by, E-Sign that may be used by any of the departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and offices in the executive branch of the state of Louisiana (hereafter "departments") to prevent a void in or absence of regulations, rules, and/or procedures for those departments effected by E-Sign and/or to ensure the accuracy and integrity of electronic signatures and/or records received and/or obtained by departments effected by E-Sign;

3. Analyzing the policies and practices of the departments regarding record retention standards and recommending uniform changes for the improvement of the accuracy, integrity, and/or accessibility of electronic signatures and/or records; and

4. Analyzing the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act as approved and recommended for enactment in all states by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1999, and whether it is in the best interests of the state of Louisiana to enact the model law.

SECTION 2: A. All departments are authorized and directed to cooperate with the commissioner of administration in the implementation of the provisions of this Order.

1. All departments shall promptly comply with any request by the commissioner of administration for information, documentation, and/or assistance that is related to the provisions of this Order.

SECTION 3: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 29th day of September, 2000.

M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Governor

ATTEST BY
THE GOVERNOR
Fox McKeithen
Secretary of State