eSignature

Campus e-Signature Guidelines

Adobe Sign is a self-service tool that allows designated members of the campus to create and route electronic documents for signature. With Adobe Sign, designated employees can upload an electronic document and send it out for signature. The secure signature is performed using each recipient's Campus Account. These guidelines describe recommended practices when using Adobe Sign for university business and those that must be avoided as they create unnecessary risk to the campus.

 

Scope

This document applies to anyone using a CSUDH account with Adobe Sign, regardless of where documents were initiated (i.e. on or off campus) or from what device the documents were initiated. Use is subject to these requirements and to the campus Responsible Use Policy.

 

Purpose

The primary focus of this standard is to encourage appropriate and acceptable use of the Adobe Sign enterprise resource, consistent with CSUDH core mission and institutional priorities.

 

Guiding Principles

e-Signature

  • Contracts: All contract signatures at CSUDH are subject to the University’s Contract Authority. Please ensure that people added as signers to the workflow are operating within their authorization for contracts and agreements.
  • College Deans and Department heads must have a list of employees authorized to sign and the scope of the delegation of authority for each.
  • An Annual Access Review for all Employees will be conducted by the Information Security Office. Adobe Sign account requesters (Deans/HR Liaisons/Resource Managers/IT Liaison to Auxiliaries) shall review the list of authorized signatories and identify the need for staff/faculty with an Adobe Sign account.
  • All assigned employees with the ability to send documents through Adobe Sign shall use this privilege carefully! We recommend reviewing Adobe Sign documentation in the campus knowledge base before sending your first document.

Forms:

  • Form Ownership: Each campus form (and associated process) is managed by Information Technology. Do not assume a form may be handled via Adobe Sign without first confirming with IT. IT owns the forms; however, the content of the forms belongs to the respective department. To change the forms, IT needs to be contacted and a change request should be submitted.

Workflow:

  • Adobe Sign is used to route and sign documents, and is not intended for long-term document retention.
  • Colleges/departments must maintain fully executed documents per the document retention policy. For long term record retention using Campus Enterprise Dropbox is preferred.
  • Delegation of a signature is only approved if the workflow is delegated and not the actual signature.
  • Adobe Sign has been approved for internal workflow and e-signature collection. (No other form of electronic signature is currently approved for University business.) Should a department wish to use Adobe Sign with any third-party vendor/signers, please contact Contracts and Procurement before uploading and routing documents. It is important to have approval from the third-party vendor to send a document via Adobe Sign. Please contact vendors prior to uploading a document to verify they do not require the document to have a "wet" signature.

Signers

  • Any employee who is authorized to sign an agreement on behalf of the University and who chooses to do so through Adobe Sign must sign the agreement using your CSUDH username. Personal or non-CSUDH Adobe Sign accounts may not be used to sign agreements on behalf of the university.
  • A signer always has the option to print the document, "wet" sign it and return a hard copy to the sender, instead of agreeing to sign a contract through Adobe Sign.
  • The signer may not delegate signing authority to those who do not have the authorization to sign documents. In order to maintain the security of Adobe Sign and all other CSUDH services, never share your username and password.
  • Please keep personal Adobe Sign accounts separate from official CSUDH issued Adobe Sign accounts. Access to CSUDH's Adobe Sign account is made through your CSUDH email address and your CSUDH password.
  • Your electronic signature, with Adobe Sign, is a legally binding signature.
  • Under the university's Contract Signature Authority, the university official executing the contract is responsible for maintaining the fully-executed contract, including all attachments, in a manner consistent with the university's Record Retention Policy. The university official executing the contract also is responsible for maintaining records evidencing any electronic signatures obtained through Adobe Sign. These records must be maintained outside of Adobe Sign. The university will purge any complete documents after 90 days. Adobe Sign is used to execute routing and signatures, not for long term document retention. Employees may use Campus Dropbox to archive your signed forms and documents.

Senders

  • Adobe Sign senders must review training prior to sending documents through Adobe Sign.
  • When creating simple workflows through Adobe Sign, it is the responsibility of the sender to verify that all signers for contracts dealing with university affairs or monetary agreements have signature authority.

Data Retention

As long as your Adobe Sign account is active, the unsent documents in your account will be stored in Adobe Sign indefinitely. Completed documents will be stored for 90 days after the date of completion, then they will be removed from the system.

It is recommended that you download and save your documents to campus Dropbox. Once envelopes are moved to the deleted folder, they are purged at midnight the same day and cannot be recovered.

 

Legality

There are two common terms used when discussing electronic signatures:

  • eSignature is the process a person goes through to demonstrate their intent during an electronic transaction.
  • Digital signature is the encryption technology containing critical details pertaining to the e-signature. (Certificate Authority Services are not available at this time.)

At CSUDH, the e-signature is the legally binding record and the digital signature is the underlying technology that helps verify the authenticity of the transaction. See What is an electronic signature? as defined by the California Secretary of State.

 

CSU RELEASE OF LIABILITY must be sent to campus counsel for approval and signage.

Under California law, an "electronic signature" means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the electronic record. The Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) authorizes use of an electronic signature for transactions and contracts among parties in California, including a government agency. One of the most common forms of an electronic signature in use today is the millions of people use every year to sign their tax returns. The digital signature regulations adopted by the Secretary of State do not apply to the definition or use of electronic signatures as they are governed by the UETA (Civil Code Section 1633.1 - 1633.17).

Level 1 Data

Adobe Sign has been approved for use with Level 1 data. To limit the university's liability all completed documents will be purged from Adobe Sign servers 90 days after completion. You still need to responsibly store the completed documents on campus in a secure way once the routing is complete.

 

CSU Electronic and Digital Signatures Policy

CSU Electronic and Digital Signature Standards and Procedures, 8100.S01

CSU Dominguez Hills Administrative Policy E-Signature Requirements