An increasing number of commercial transactions on national and international level are carried out by means of electronic communications and with the absence of any tangible tracks. Questions such as “What is the legal value of electronic documents?”, “Are electronic signatures admissible in court?”, and “Are the legal requirements for ‘in writing’ and ‘signed’ complied with, when electronic documents and electronic signatures have been used?” are raised. Evidently, the need for legal certainty and security is urgent and the response comes from e-Signature legislation on European and international level.
Law and Internet Foundation experts provided the basis for the legal regulation on electronic documents and electronic signatures in Bulgaria. They participated in elaboration of the E-document and E-signature Act (2001) and the secondary legislation on its implementation, as well as its amendments in the following years.
In 2004 the Foundation experts developed a commentary on the Act (“E-document and E-signature. Legal Regime” - 2004) that is still adequate because of its extensive analysis of the legislation while in 2009 the Foundation participated in drafting a wide range of acts and secondary legislation in regard to the implementation of the e-documents and e-signatures in the judicial system. The main purpose of the project is legal regulation of the e-Justice in Bulgaria.
Since 2004 the Law and Internet Foundation experts have taken part in trainings and consultations, related to the provision of electronic administrative services to citizens including re-engineering of working processes, development of internal rules for document flow of electronic and paper documents and introduction of electronic and compound administrative services. As a result, more than 1200 professionals from the state administration and judicial system have been trained on issues related to usage of e-documents and e-signatures and regulation of their activities, while facing the new information reality.
In 2010 Law and Internet Foundation finished the preparation of internal rules for document flow of electronic and paper documents for 12 regional and 74 local administrations that include the following: analysis for establishing the basic institutional nomenclatures; development of standard rules for internal administrative activities and internal rules of 8 administrations; and preparation of instructions for their adaptation to the needs of the specific administration.
Over the years the Foundation experts have also consulted the European Commission on the legal and market issues on e-signatures and have participated in multiple international projects, related to their regulation on supranational level.
- Dimitrov, G., Dimitrova, Sv., The EU Regulation on electronic identification and certification services: paving the way forward towards more secure internet transactions
- Ordinance on the Certificates for Electronic Signatures in the Public Administration, SG, issue 48 of 23 May 2008
- Electronic Documents and Electronic Signatures Act , SG, issue 100 of 21 December 2010
- Drafting Legislative Framework for Implementation of Electronic Document and Electronic Signature in the Judiciary
- Training officials from the Registry Agency on the Application and Implementation of the Commercial Register Act
- Bringing the e-Government Services Closer to the Citizens
- Drafting and Bringing Up-to-Date a Set of Normative Documents for Amendment and Supplement of the Current Legal Framework in the Electronic Commerce Sector
- Development of Normative Documents in Connection to the Application of Art. 41, Section 1 of the Electronic Documents and Electronic Signatures Act and the Council of Ministry Decree No. 153, 05.07.2004