On October 6, 2017, history was made in the e-signature industry. The Government of Canada and the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding separately in Ottawa and London using electronic signature technology. This marked the first time two different countries electronically signed an international document.
Originally, representatives of the two countries were going to meet together in person to sign the Memorandum. However, one of the representatives was not able to make it to the meeting, so the Government of Canada turned to e-signature technology. This let both representatives to electronically sign the document at the same time in two different locations.
Working Towards a Digital Government
The Memorandum itself is a key step towards a digital and open government. It is also crucial to providing better digital public resources. The document says that both Canada and the UK will support each other in their goals to encourage the wide-spread use of digital public tools. Also, both governments will work to encourage economic growth through the open markets by stimulating start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses. This move aims to level the playing field for start-ups and smaller businesses to create fair competition between all companies. The two governments will also work towards creating a more open government, and making government documents accessible to the public. The Memorandum also mentions teaching children how to code. This addresses the importance of giving the next generation useful skills in an increasingly digital world.
Canada and the UK are not the only ones aiming to harness digital technology to better the lives of their citizens. Digital9 is a group of nine countries founded in 2014 by five countries, including the UK, under the name Digital5. The countries of Digital9 work together to create a more accessible and useful digital world. In February 2018, Canada joined the group along with Uruguay. Since then two more countries–Mexico and Portugal–have joined.
The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding using e-signature technology is a step towards global sustainable living. E-signature technology allows governments, businesses, and individuals to digitize their work, and save paper and trees.
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