ACRA considers accepting digital signing of documents in Singapore

ACRA - the corporate regulatory watch body in Singapore is showing interest in accepting digital signatures for secretarial documents
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Aug. 28, 2012 - PRLog -- Digital signatures as a concept is not new, but use of the same for document authentication and authorization in Singapore is a budding concept. Nevertheless, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore, has clearly anticipated the use of digital signatures in Singapore for authorization of documents. In a meeting conducted with a representative of BGL Corporate Solutions Pty Ltd, a Melbourne based company that provides cloud based solutions for corporate secretarial documentation, ACRA was receptive to the idea of introducing the "digital signing" method on resolutions and other secretarial documentation.

A Singapore based professional firm - Servolve, is one of the first service providers in Singapore who has signed up for a cloud based package to share  and authorize documents via the internet. The Founder of Servolve Group - Mr. George Mathew said in this context, " Servolve is aiming at being the thought leader and pioneer in the field of e-signing in Singapore. We have been actively thinking and pursuing this idea for the past 1 year in a bid to make life easier for our entrepreneur clients who are based out of Singapore. It is a constant hassle for both the service provider and the client to chase after documents that need attention". Mr. Mathew and his team of professionals met with the BGL Corp representative in Singapore and extended their support in the Company's quest to seek clearance from ACRA for the use of digital signatures in the mentioned capacity.

The use of digital signature was clearly anticipated by Singapore, as the The Electronic Transaction Act covers this type of transaction.  The law was enacted first in 1998 and then re enacted in 2010.

The summary of the requirements laid down under the Act are as follows,

There are 4 ways in which a digital signature can be given legal recognition under the ETA:

use certificates issued by an accredited CA;
use certificates issued by a CA outside Singapore but recognised by the Controller of CAs;
use certificates issued by an approved Government CA; or
establish a contractual agreement between the parties involved in the transaction to use a prescribed digital signature mechanism that is secure.
Note - CA refers to Computer Associates

All the above mentioned requirements are met by the software promoted by BGL Corp.

The response from ACRA  is anticipated in the near future and will likely change the way documentation is shared and authorized between service providers and clients in Singapore.
Source:Servolve Pte.Ltd.
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Tags:Secretarial, Singapore, Acra
Industry:Accounting, Business
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