Electronic signatures at LiU
The need to be able to sign documents electronically has increased during 2020, not least as a consequence of restrictions during the corona pandemic. Work is under way at LiU to examine the possibility of introducing electronic signing.
This autumn, a working group with representatives from various groups at LiU, such as legal specialists, the registrar, archivists and IT architects, has been looking at the possibility of using electronic signatures. The objective is that LiU should use electronic signatures as much as possible, not only for internal documents that are signed only by LiU co-workers but also documents that are to be signed by one or several external parties.
It is not simply a case of purchasing a commercial service and starting to use it.
“The working group is looking at many issues that need to be sorted out before we can see broad implementation”, says Patrik Högberg, who leads the work. “We have to look at legal questions such as evidential value and archiving, and IT questions such as safety and identification methods. We also have to discuss more practical questions such as how the process for signing is to proceed, how we can deal with different types of signature, and how we can manage signed documents.
The answers to these questions differ between different types of document, so it’s important that we create common procedures at LiU for when and how we can use electronic signatures.”
What stage is the work at right now?
- The working group is considering a solution for electronic signatures, eduSign, from Sunet. A pilot project using eduSign is under way, and it is hoped that LiU will be able to use the system during the spring of 2021. The intention is that the number of documents signed using eduSign will gradually increase.
- At the same time, the group is looking at the question of which electronic signatures from external parties can be accepted at LiU, and at whether LiU can use solutions for electronic signature from external parties. If the answer is “yes”, when will this be possible?
- The working group is also looking at alternative solutions for internal documents, whether and how they can be signed using some form of authorisation chain in an operations system, rather than using an independent service.
In the short term, before the eduSign process has been verified, documents that require a LiU signature must still be signed on paper. This is the case also for external parties. It can sometimes be impossible for LiU to require physical signatures, and in such cases, it is possible that an exemption be granted. If you need such an exemption, contact Patrik Högberg to discuss possible solutions.
For more information about digital signatures, contact Patrik Högberg who is leading the work.
Translated by George Farrants
Last updated: 2020-12-11