The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA, Pub.L. 105–277 Title XVII) requires that, that Federal agencies use electronic documents, forms, and signatures to conduct official business with the public.
The Act requires agencies, to allow individuals or organizations the option to submit information or transact with the agency electronically and to maintain records electronically. The Act specifically states that electronic records and their related electronic signatures are not to be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability merely because they are in electronic form, and encourages the use of electronic signatures.
The Act precludes agencies or courts from treating electronic documents and signatures less favorably than their paper counterparts.
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