Integrated CSU Administrative Manual

CSU POLICY

--INACTIVE HISTORICAL POLICY--

Replaced by 8100.0 Electronic and Digital Signatures

Section:  GENERAL ACCOUNTING

Section 3000 Policies

Policy Number:  3701.01

Policy Title: Digital Signatures

Policy Effective Date: April 1, 2011

Last Revision Date: April 1, 2011
(see revision history)

POLICY OBJECTIVE

It is the policy of the CSU to permit the use of digital signatures in lieu of handwritten signatures. Usage of digital signature technology is at the option of an individual campus. This policy does not pertain to signatures on checks issued by the CSU.


POLICY STATEMENT

A “digital signature” is an electronic identifier, created by computer, intended by the party using it to have the same force and effect as the use of a handwritten signature.  Campuses must develop procedures, approved by the vice president for administration, which conform to technologies capable of creating digital signatures and must conform to requirements set forth in California Government Code Section 16.5:

(1)     It is unique to the person using it;
(2)     It is capable of verification;
(3)     It is under the sole control of the person using it;
(4)     It is linked to data in such a manner that if the data are changed, the digital signature is invalidated;
(5)     It conforms to Title 2, Division 7, Chapter 10, of the California Code of Regulations.

Campus procedures must specify the record types and/or activities where electronic signatures are permissible and/or required.  They may require or permit electronic signatures for any record or document where a signature is required by Federal or California law or by CSU policy, unless a handwritten signature is explicitly required.  The presence of an electronic signature on a document using an acceptable electronic signature method does not mean that the document was properly signed or approved.  Campus procedures must identify the person (by position) who is authorized to sign or approve that document.

Electronic signatures may be used for transactions between the campus and outside parties only when the parties have agreed to conduct transactions by electronic means.

For a digital signature to be valid, it must be created by a technology accepted for use by the State of California.  The use of digital signature technology must be approved by the vice president for administration.  Acceptable technologies currently include (1) Public Key Cryptography, provided that the digital signature is created consistent with the provisions in Section 22003(a)1-5 of the California Code of Regulations, and (2) Signature Dynamics, provided that the signature is created consistent with the provisions in Section 22003(b)1-5 of the California Code of Regulations.  Section 22004 provides a mechanism for petitioning the California Secretary of State to add an electronic signature technology to its list of acceptable technologies.

Benjamin F. Quillian
Executive Vice-Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer

Approved: February 7, 2011

APPLICABILITY AND AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY

 

REVISION HISTORY

 

RESOURCES AND REFERENCE MATERIALS

Useful Guidelines:

 

Related Principles:

 

Sound Business Practices:

 

Laws, State Codes, Regulations and Mandates:

  • California Government Code 16.5
  • California Civil Code 1633.1 - 1633.17
  • California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Division 7, Chapter 10

COGNIZANT OFFICE(S)

CO Manager:

Ms. Roberta McNiel  
Internal Control & Compliance Manager, Financial Systems
CSU Office of the Chancellor
rmcniel@calstate.edu

Subject Expert:

Ms. Roberta McNiel  
Internal Control & Compliance Manager, Financial Systems
CSU Office of the Chancellor
rmcniel@calstate.edu

Affinity Group:

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