I have talked to a number of Community Action Agency Exec’s in Georgia about going paperless, and some of them are under the assumption that they need to keep paper copies of their documents. This is a big burden for the agency. For example, they have thousands of LIHEAP applications that they have to keep for seven years. This is talking up a lot of valuable office space and takes a lot of time to maintain.
Here is the good news, I think according to state law, these documents do not have to be stored in paper form.
Georgia adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act a number of years ago (2009 or 2010). This mandates that electronic records be treated just like paper records. Here is a short summary:
- Electronic records and signatures are expressly recognized under the law.
- If the law requires a writing document, an electronic record satisfies the law
- If the law requires a signature, an electronic signature satisfies the law.
- Documents can be stored and maintained electronically
2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 10 – COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 12 – ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS
- 10-12-7 – Legal effect of electronic records or signatures
O.C.G.A. 10-12-7 (2010)
10-12-7. Legal effect of electronic records or signatures
(a) A record or signature shall not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
(b) A contract shall not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because an electronic record was used in its formation.
(c) If a law requires a record to be in writing, an electronic record shall satisfy the law.
(d) If a law requires a signature, an electronic signature shall satisfy the law.
If you are interested in going paperless, I suggest you talk to your legal counsel.
To read more info on this subject, here is an article was written by CAPLAW: CAPLAW on going paperless