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GSA Provides Technology for Digital Signature on New Legislation

GSA # 9704

June 30, 2000
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231

Washington, DC - The U.S. General Services Administration announced that the President signed a new electronic commerce legislation today using electronic digital signature technology powered by Access Certificates for Electronic Services (ACES).

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act brings the full effect of legal authority for electronic signatures to interstate and foreign transactions, specifically stating "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."

ACES is a joint venture between the Federal Technology Service and the Office of Governmentwide Policy at GSA. It is a government-wide multiple-award schedule contract providing identification, authentication, and non-repudiation via the use of digital signature technology as a means for individuals and business entities to be authenticated when accessing, retrieving, and submitting information with the government. It is a key initiative in assisting the Agencies' response to the Government Paperwork Elimination Act. Three industry partners provide the services for the ACES Program. They are Digital Signature Trust Company, Operational Research Consultants, Inc, and AT&T Corporation.

"The electronic signature capability demonstrated here today is a critical component in realizing our e-government goals," said David J. Barram, GSA Administrator.

At a ceremony conducted at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, best known for another signing ceremony 225 years ago, President Clinton used a smart card containing his personal, unique digital signature provided by ACES to digitally sign the legislation, marking the first time a U.S. President has used this technology to sign U.S. legislation. Digital signature technology is viewed as one of the key enablers in eliminating costly and inefficient paper processes, while also reducing the risks associated with doing business via the Internet.

President Clinton was issued the first operational ACES certificate and this signing marks the first operational demonstration of the ACES technology.

Additional information on ACES is available at the web site

For further information about the ACES contract, contact Helen Chapman at (202) 205-9639.

Last Reviewed 2010-04-30