I recently talked to a director of a Community Action in Missouri and he was wondering if he could legally scan their paper documents and rely totally on electronic records.
Missouri like many other states has adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act in August of 2003. This Act focuses on treating electronic (paperless) records the same a the original paper document.
Here is the state law:
432.255. Retention of electronic records — originals. — 1. If a law requires that a record be retained, the requirement is satisfied by retaining an electronic record of the information in the record which:
(1) Accurately reflects the information set forth in the record after it was first generated in its final form as an electronic record or otherwise; and
(2) Remains accessible for later reference.
2. A requirement to retain a record in accordance with subsection 1 of this section does not apply to any information the sole purpose of which is to enable the record to be sent, communicated, or received.
3. A person may satisfy subsection 1 of this section by using the services of another person if the requirements of that subsection are satisfied.
4. If a law requires a record to be presented or retained in its original form, or provides consequences if the record is not presented, or retained in its original form, that law is satisfied by an electronic record retained in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.
5. If a law requires retention of a check, that requirement is satisfied by retention of an electronic record of the information on the front and back of the check in accordance with subsection 1 of this section.
6. A record retained as an electronic record in accordance with subsection 1 of this section satisfies a law requiring a person to retain a record for evidentiary, audit or like purposes, unless a law enacted after August 28, 2003, specifically prohibits the use of an electronic record for the specified purpose.
7. This section does not preclude a governmental agency of this state from specifying additional requirements for the retention of a record subject to the agency’s jurisdiction.