Justice guides agencies through e-gov

"Legal Considerations in Designing and Implementing Electronic Processes:A Guide for Federal Agencies"

Related Links

The Justice Department has drafted a report that guides federal agencies through the legal issues they face in delivering services electronically.

Justice developed the guide in conjunction with the Office of Management and Budget and other agencies as part of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, Congress' mandate to eliminate paper processes wherever possible by 2003.

The report notes that significant legal issues could arise if new electronic processes do not fully meet the objectives of the paper systems they are to replace. New processes could, for example, weaken an agency's position in litigation involving recovering loans or grants or enforcing regulatory requirements, the report states.

The report calls for officials to ask themselves a number of questions as they convert agency services to electronic processes, including:

    * Will important transaction data — such as dates, content, identification and the intent of parties — be retained and available regardless of any changes to computer hardware or software?

    * Will the transactions hold up legally?

    * Will agency use of electronic processes comply with existing laws governing privacy, confidentiality, recordkeeping and accessibility to persons with disabilities?

Justice released the report on its Web site Dec. 14.

In a Nov. 22 memo to federal department leaders that accompanies the report, Attorney General Janet Reno said GPEA is "an important tool" in helping agencies move toward improved customer service and efficiencies through information technology.

"At the same time, creating a more accessible and efficient government requires us to maintain public confidence in the security and reliability of the government's electronic transactions, processes and systems," she said.

Featured

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.